Yesterday my phone rang, and when I picked it up, I heard the usual “We are calling from the so-and-so poll company and we wonder if we can ask you a few questions?” . As a former pollster, I know how hard it is to find people to actually answer all your questions, so I say yes almost all the time I get this kind of phone call.
The questions were pretty standard at first: age, region, gender, are you happy with your local government, etc. Until, it started to get weirder with questions like: “Do you trust your neighbors? Do you think they would help you? Do you think the people in your country would help you?”
It amazes me that after talking about this with few of my friends, they actually said that many of them do not trust their neighbors, do not think that generally people would help others. They were pretty much stunned that I didn’t think like them, and told me that just because I am a kind of person that would help pretty much anyone, most of the people not only think they do not have time to help, but they do not want to!
As the phone poll continued, in fact, as I thought it was about to end, the guy said :” For the final part there are few questions about volunteering”. I told him that he can answer positive to all of them for me, as I volunteer all the time, but he insisted to ask me everything. So:
“Have you done an unpaid work, voluntarily, in your community in the past 12 months?”—Yes.
“Have you donated food, clothes, money, toys to charity organizations? “—Yes, all of the above.
“How many times per year do you help elderly?” —Every week, I said. “But, I mean, how many times you would help an elderly person, who is not in your family, not your grandparents, but someone else” —-Every week, I repeated again.
“OK….um…How many times per year do you help youngsters?—Every week. “This means helping young people, tutoring them, or helping them by giving them advice…” —-Yes, every week I help young people who are not my immediate family, or any family.
“Uh…OK…than…How many times have you helped an handicapped person with administrative tasks, paying bills, buying groceries etc?” —-Every week.
And here was when I got really annoyed, he asked than:
“You do understand the question, right?”
Is helping people so unusual? Is it out of style or something? How can you be so surprised that there are altruists in this world?! But moreover, how can you keep making excuses and not be one yourself?
It doesn’t take too much time to help someone! While chatting with your neighbors in the elevator, you may find yourself giving advice to them, whether it is about health, business, education, relationships, it doesn’t matter. Maybe their children need a tutor for math or science and you can help them out. Taking even your leftovers from lunch and giving them to a homeless person on the street is enormous help! Putting your shoes, that you know you can’t wear anymore because of all the blisters they give you, in a bag and giving them to someone who doesn’t even have socks is exercising altruism and helping step-by-step to make your world better.
That’s right, it is YOUR world. It’s not everyone’s, it’s YOURS. You can’t expect your world to become better, if you don’t become better! Be a nicer person! Give without keeping score! Help those who need your help the most, and help those who have helped all their lives and now are too old to give more.
Don’t make this world filled with untrusting, suspicious, bitter, overly sarcastic people. Start with yourself, and inspire goodness and humanitarianism. PUT HELPING PEOPLE IN STYLE, and make it stay there all the way!