Be part of something bigger

Be part of something bigger

“Help somebody, if you can.” —Van Zant

Not to sound prideful, but I have just loved to help others ever since I can remember. Mom told me that when I was little and she was washing down walls, she had to get me a wet rag because I wanted to help her. It is just in my nature. I guess it is because of my cerebral palsy — I am drawn to the underdog. To me, helping is the highest achievement one can do in life. To be a part of something bigger than oneself will put meaning into anybody’s life.

Too many people are all about themselves. They don’t have time to help others, or when they do, there is always a catch. They might help because it will bring them attention or make them look good, or maybe because the person is a blood relative and if they don’t help, what will people think? However, helping should come out of the heart. Yes, maybe we don’t always feel like helping at the time we need to, but it comes out of a helping heart and we are glad we did afterward.

When I graduated from high school, I wanted to serve my country. The military was out of the question, so after Hurricane Katrina, I did the next best thing by volunteering to go down south to help. Like so many, I saw the images on the news, but nothing could prepare me for what I found down there — buildings knocked down, big-name stores like Walmart standing abandoned. We drove by some woods, and I couldn’t figure out why the woods had a fresh blanket of snow in them when it was 80 degrees out — it was drywall from all the houses that were blown away in the storm.

All the people were just so thankful we were there. They didn’t act mad at everyone or dejected despite the devastation. They were upset, of course, but I saw a lot of people who were just happy we came to help. Some even cooked for us, although that didn’t do very much for my waistline.

Helping is kind of a selfish act because we can get so much out of it. We feel better when we help others, it makes us forget about our problems, and it makes us see beyond ourselves and see the world beyond the news headlines.

We can help people by doing something for them physically, but it even goes farther than that. We can listen to them, send a thinking about you card, pray for them or even smile and just ask them how they’re doing.

We can help people in many ways, including some we don’t even know.