Why don’t we ask for help when we need it? Are we too proud or worried that we might inconvenience our friends, family, or neighbors? And what about strangers? The very idea of even communicating with someone we don’t know makes us anxious, and showing vulnerability in front of them can be too much to bear for some.
Offering help comes with its obstacles, as well. Oftentimes, we don’t know where our assistance is needed, whether we have enough time to lend a hand, or if the person we see on the side of the road, for instance, actually wants our help.
Sadly, modern technology offers no solution to the problem. Though we now have several ways to communicate with each other online, our daily interactions with neighbors leave something to be desired. In the not so distant past, working with our neighbors was quite commonplace and necessary for survival. We moved away from a more communal society where we relied on each other for food, protection, and trade to one that is so limited in its reach that we often do not even know our neighbors’ names.
A primary reason humans evolved into the unique social sapiens we are today was our willingness to work together – to ask for help and offer it. One could argue this “helping gene” is responsible for our success as a species. As we learned to cooperate and help each other, we realized that there was a mutual benefit to it. Time and time again, this helping trait was reinforced and became part of us.
Because this social exchange is wired into our DNA, our communities suffer when we don’t help each other. We NEED to offer help and receive help. If these interactions with our fellow humans are lacking, a general malaise takes over our communities – we feel off-kilter somehow as if the world we live in is unbalanced. If we all embrace these types of interactions, we all benefit – communities become healthier and happier as individuals feel a greater sense of purpose as their good deeds grow. People feel less anxiety when they know they have a community in their corner, willing to help when needed to serve the greater good. It’s so simple and yet so under-utilized in this day and age. If we all were more willing to ask for and give a bit of our time, the world around us would change for the better.
It all starts with you. Take the time today to Deed It Forward™. Download the DeeditForward app and get started helping people in your community!