Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
Nov. 19, 2017
Preface: Recently, a person I didn’t know contacted me to say they had some clothes to donate to my homeless woman project but they had only one narrow window of time to meet. I couldn’t accommodate them at the requested time but promised to follow-up ASAP. When I did, I was told that the box of clothes was now “taking up space” in this person’s trunk so they’d donate elsewhere.
“Two more days”
A few years ago, while riding the Q101 bus during rush hour, I found it interesting to watch the driver interact with his regular passengers -- but one exchange really stood out. A weary man, maybe in his mid-60s, labored his way up the steps and onto the bus.
The driver remarked with a chuckle: “Two more days.”
These simple words seemed to make the tired man -- along with a few other worn out commuters -- nod and smile with hope.
You see, it was Wednesday and these folks were essentially wishing away 48 hours of their meager time on earth so they could have permission to allegedly do what they really want to do on “the weekend.”
As for what they do with this ostensible “free” time…
I’ve worked in a variety of gyms and health clubs for much of my adult life and while exercise crazes and workout fashions may come and go, one disturbing trend endures. Each and every day, I witness some of my fellow humans spend hour after hour wandering the premises. Sure, they do some semblance of a workout but, mostly, they talk or people-watch or yak on their cell phones or drink coffee or harass women or, most commonly: stare at one of the dozens of televisions.
Whenever I point out such a person to a co-worker or client, the most common and casual retort I get is: “I guess they’ve got nothing better to do.”
Combine this familiar outlook with the “two more days” concept I mentioned above and it’s pretty damn depressing. How many of us toil at unfulfilling jobs that offer nothing of value to society, wishing away the “work week” so we can have “free time” only to discover that we’ve got “nothing better to do”?
Pro tip: There’s always something better to do.
Finally, my point…
The number of humans (and non-humans) who need urgent help rises by the minute. We almost certainly do not have the power to challenge the conditions that create this ugly reality. We almost certainly have the power to allot some of our “free time” to find “something better to do.” (FYI: I’m not talking about those struggling financially, working two or three jobs with mouths to feed, dealing with chronic illnesses, etc.)
Making a difference in someone’s life means much more than clicks, likes, shares, petitions, and virtue signaling. It’s never “easy” to do truly effective work.
Which brings me back to the “preface” up top.
Being a giver-doer-helper requires serious time and effort and patience and often money. It means going out of your way so often that helping others becomes your way.
We may fancy ourselves to be the multi-tasking, too-busy-to-slow-down type, but “busy” at what? Too busy to find time to donate clothes to someone putting them to immediate use? More likely: Not committed to putting forth a sincere effort to help the most vulnerable among us.
The odds are, if your idea of helping is an effort that’s convenient for you -- something that lands squarely within your comfort zone -- it’s probably not helping much.
Don’t wish away your precious days. Don’t accept the ugly lie that there’s nothing better to do. Savor the moments, count your blessings, and do the work. The grunt work, the hard work, the work behind the scenes. As often as possible, choose to go out of your way to help.
Pro tip: A great way to start is by asking others what they need and want.
Mickey Z. is the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on the streets of New York City. To help him grow this project, CLICK HERE and make a donation right now. And please spread the word!
Go out of your way to help others by Mickey Z. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://worldnewstrust.com/go-out-of-your-way-to-help-others-mickey-z.