Help, Especially When It Isn’t Obvious
I saw this sign on the seatback of a British Rail train. An appropriate message - some would say pretty obvious even - but it’s the line close to the end that’s the most interesting:
PLEASE REMEMBER THE NEED FOR THIS SEAT MAY NOT BE IMMEDIATELY OBVIOUS.
It’s a gentle reminder that those who most need help don’t always show it, advertise it or even suggest it in any obvious way.
A reminder that it’s incumbent on us to look around, see how those around us are doing, to consciously see if there is anyone in need.
Because the reality is, it’s easy for us to focus inward or to assist those who ask for our help or to help those who look like they need it. All of that is fine in the right time and context.
But many times, at work, at school or at home, those who most need us are not the obvious ones.
They may be the consistently quiet ones, or the ones who are always the loudest.
They may be the ones who find it difficult to always show up, or the ones who can’t seem to take a break.
They may be those who are the most difficult to deal with, or those who always do what those around them say.
Which one(s) depends on the time and the context. And fInding them requires a bit of effort on our part.
A little awareness. A little openness.
And a willingness to be of service.