By SHEILA YONEMOTO, PT
I have several patients who really could use help but don’t want it, either because they now have limitations and won’t admit it, or they don’t want to bother anyone, or they have always been the helper so they feel awkward being the one who needs help.
Somehow it always seems easier to be the helper. It makes you feel good to be able to help someone in need and you feel a sense of worth since you have an ability to make a difference in someone’s life. Plus you feel grateful that you are able-bodied or mentally equipped to be useful. Whenever you have to ask for help, it makes you feel less capable, at the mercy of another’s kindness and somehow just a little crippled.
I told one of my patients to think about using her opportunity to ask for help as a way to teach others compassion, patience and thoughtfulness for those who may not have that experience. At any rate, it would be a way for different people to come together who otherwise might not, and thereby get some mutual benefit from interacting with one another.
Many people who are widowed or elderly with their circle of friends dwindling become lonely or in need of some help with physical tasks, like getting groceries out of the car and into the house. Many of these people don’t know their newest neighbors or aren’t familiar with different cultures, age groups or interests. What better way to gain access to new neighbors, friends and helpers than by asking for some help?
We live in a busy world with so many things to do. Think about all the opportunities that await us if we just take a little time to talk to someone, inquire about their lives and make small gestures of kindness. Little acts of human connection can go a long way. Sometimes it is these little attentions to detail in daily life that make people think kindly about others and want to get to know them better There really should be no loneliness with so many people in a big city or even a small neighborhood.
Relationships sometimes happen by chance, but more often they happen when we take time to make a connection. See if you can make a new friend or at least create a happy moment by letting a person know that someone cares. How many moments can you create?
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Sheila Yonemoto, P.T., has been a physical therapist for over 30 years, specializing in Integrative Manual Therapy utilizing a holistic approach. She can be reached at Yonemoto Physical Therapy, 55 S. Raymond Ave., Suite 100, Alhambra, CA 91801. Call (626) 576-0591 for a free consultation and free insurance verification, or visit www.yonemoto.com for more information.