How can I help?

A hand playing the piano.

As a kid with a big sister, the notion of helping wasn’t necessarily instinctive for me. My big sister (who’s a whopping two years older than myself), had done it all first. She was there to ask for help if I needed it. She was there to “test” the waters with topics about boyfriends, skipping school, those things in life that mom and dad figured out with her, so by the time I got to that point in my young life, I had an easier time of things.

But thanks to my many years involved in Guides Canada (a Brownie, Guide, Pathfinder, then Junior Leader), I developed the ability to help many people around me. The core skills I honed in Guiding, certainly prepared me for situations where my help was required, and welcomed, from my classmates on school assignments and studying for exams, to my elders and shoveling snow to organizations in my community like the Humane Society and donating needed supplies. I’ve adopted the notion that trying to help others (and don’t forget, asking if one would like your help) into my everyday life.

Of late, I’ve been helping my nine-year-old piano student. It may sound cliché, but I wonder if I find it more rewarding teaching her, than she finds it rewarding being taught. Each week, I witness her musical talents growing. I am grateful I have an opportunity to share my knowledge, and love of music, with a young person. However, I also listen. I listen to her stories of how school is going. I listen to the things that she’s excited about! I listen to how she’s progressing in other avenues of her world (such as her ability to do a front hand spring, or seeing pictures of the three monarch butterflies that she kept as caterpillars and released once hatched from their cocoons). I do believe that giving this student an hour a week to not only to embrace the music she is creating on the piano, but to truly listen, is helping her in a way that I was helped many times in my life.

I make the point to help people who come into my life, because I am so aware of those who have helped me in challenging times. And, I don’t doubt there are many other times where I was helped but I was mindless to being helped. The positive side effect is I know I’ve paid it forward. And hopefully, the help I give this nine year old, will have an impact in her life.

via mindyourmind : reachout get help, give help

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