How to help
I was talking to somebody the other day about the impact we make on other people by just being nice. We talked about how sometimes the smallest act of kindness can even prevent suicide. The person I was talking to asked, “What if that person actually didn’t want to die, but was just looking for a reason, any reason. . . like a ladybug landing on their arm, to show them that they should keep living . . . that even if I’m not nice, they’d probably find something else like the ladybug, to motivate them to live; that me being a ladybug doesn’t really matter.” I agreed that they may well find another reason to live, and good for them! But for others, that ladybug might be the only nice thing they see for the day and it can be just enough to give them a few extra hours of time to pull back up and live.
My point was to “be the ladybug” even if you don’t know whether it’ll make a difference or not. Just be the ladybug (the butterfly, the teddy bear, the peaceful warrior, etc.) because that’s who you are, or that’s what you are striving to be. That kind act of saying “hello,” or letting that angry driver in front of you with a wave, or holding that door a little longer than you have to, or returning that wallet with all the money, or even just a dollar bill you saw that guy drop . . . those acts, as insignificant as they may seem to you, may very well save a life. And even if you don’t know one way or the other, you’ll feel better knowing that you’ve done something that at least has the potential to help a person feel a little better–so that means, at a minimum, YOU will feel better!
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Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s has worked in the helping profession since he started college in 1990. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 1994, he attended the highly-regarded University of Minnesota to earn his Master’s degree in 1997. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a Board Approved Supervisor by the State of Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Jonathan has completed Level-2 of the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling, and in 1998 received training by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management & Debriefing. To learn more about Jonathan’s practice, click here: Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s.