Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's not easy being a 'good Samaritan'...

Today I had totally run out of food in the house as I was sick last week and went to our neighbourhood supermarket to stock up. In the supermarket I passed by a guy who had one arm which seemed paralysed but the other arm was fine. As I was buying the veges he was struggling to open a clingy bag to put his veges into. These are the kind of annoying bags that even with both hands you have difficulty opening! As I saw him I wondered if I should help, or would he think of it as pity? does he want to be independent? Should I speak in English or broken French? While I was in my own reverie wondering what to do he had managed to open the bag and had moved on...

The twist of the tale was when after my shopping I left my three bags on the floor to return the shopping cart, and one of my bags toppled over and my plums rolled onto the floor. Who was behind smiling with a couple of plums in his good hand, but the same guy I was contemplating helping. He didn't think twice about it, just picked up the plums and gave me! In the end I just thanked him and wished him a nice day and left...

On my way home I realised how much we sometimes over-think and over-complicate situations. Easiest thing to do would have to simply ask if he needed help. What's the worst that could have happened, he could have said no, and I wouldn't have felt bad about not helping someone... but at the time I didn't ask... While this was a very small incident (if you could even call it that) I think one of the reasons this stayed in my mind  was because it made me wonder how helpful I would be to a stranger in trouble... I would like to think that I'd be the 'good samaritan' and just help, or would I over think things till its too late? Often when you see something its easy to say its not my business, or I don't want to create a scene or someone else will help and many other excuses and do nothing, but at the end of the day it's better to err in the side of being helpful than to do nothing.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Thoughts from Alyssa.... said...

I think we hesitate for fear of offending people when we only have the best intensions... my father in law offered his seat in the bus to a heavily pregnant woman and promptly got abused for being 'sexist' and treating women like they were the weaker sex. When people are so sensitive about these things, it's no wonder we hesitate!!

3:16 am, September 11, 2011  
Blogger smiley said...

Thanks for your comment, so it's not just me who hesitates before helping.

5:45 pm, September 11, 2011  
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