Thanks for all of your nice comments on my post the other day. We were really fine
(other than my pride, of course), but after reading some of your nice comments I got wondering, "Would I have really stopped?"It seemed to me initially that certainly I would have. I've had times just out running when a big rain storm has started and multiple people have stopped to ask if I needed a ride, and this situation seemed worse -- babies and snow being involved, but it was a skinny road what with the big snow banks on either side, and there really was a line of cars dropping kids off that anyone who did stop would have had to interrupt. I'm sure people could see that I was getting up quickly and not just stuck there. Maybe I would have justified not stopping by the inconvenience to everyone and the fact that the mother and kids were probably fine.
I was talking on the phone with my friend Kelly today, and then had an email from my sister-in-law Rhonda about the same thing. They both mentioned how you just need to decide to always stop and help. Often it may seem inconvenient and by the time you think it through it seems like the right time has passed (like when you see someone with a flat tire on the freeway and you are fairly far past by the time you really have had time to think about stopping). The problem that both of them brought up is that you never know if the person wants help or if it might actually embarrass them. The solution, both said, was to simply do it. Awkwardness or uncertainty be danged.
It brought to mind a time when I was in the grocery store and saw an elderly man squinting as he searched along an isle for something. It occurred to me that I ought to offer to help him as he was clearly having a difficult time seeing the labels. Then I started thinking how it might make him feel dumb. I almost walked on. Luckily I stopped and asked if I could help him. He wanted sauerkraut -- something I have NEVER purchased or even seen at the grocery store. I said a tiny little prayer in my head and looked. The first thing I saw on the loaded shelves? The lone bottle of sauerkraut. How silly that I almost didn't do that one nice little thing for fear of it being embarrassing.
Anyway, thanks to my dumb little fall, the nice comments from all of you, and the wise words from Kelly and Rhonda, I have recommitted myself to just stopping, just asking, and just helping. I've had plenty of times in my life when people have done that for me -- brought me a cart as I unload all my kids out of a car to go in a grocery store, offered to carry something when my arms were full, etc. Sometimes it is those very tiniest little things that truly make my day and make me feel so happy about our world, and I need to do them far more often!