Help NOW, because there might not be a LATER.

We live in a fast-paced society with busy schedules and minimal free time. We have families and friends that demand our attention, and it’s rare that we get any time to ourselves. Therefore, how can we make the time to stay in touch with how others outside our immediate circle are doing beyond an occasional “hello, how are you” every now and then? When should we step in to make sure the people in our lives are genuinely okay? What if we see someone that we believe is struggling, but we don’t know what to say or do to help them?

Make the time to help someone else.

It is said that we make time for what we truly value. I personally value life, more than anything else. A day that I have an opportunity to have a positive effect on another person’s life is a worthwhile day in my book. Will helping someone else always be convenient? Not necessarily. Will helping someone else be easy?  Likely not. Will helping someone fill my heart with joy and make the world a better place?  Absolutely! Now that we are committed to making the time to help others, how do we know when a person needs help?

When in doubt, reach out.

Sometimes, it is difficult to decipher how a person is feeling based on their outward appearance or behavior. You may need to read between the lines to identify where they are struggling. If you aren’t sure about whether someone needs help, just ask them! I have yet to come across a person who is offended by a sincere offer of help by a well-intentioned friend. In my experience, regret is one of the most difficult things to overcome. What’s done is done, and there is no going back to change the past. However, you will never regret reaching out to help another person. Now that we have made the decision to reach out, how do we know what to say?

Say something.  Then do something.

What does it mean to “reach out” to someone? How do I know if a person is asking for help if they don’t ask for it directly?  In my experience, one of the main reasons people hesitate to offer help to others is because they don’t understand what the other person is going through. Even without understanding or experiencing our friend’s struggle firsthand, we can empathize with how they are feeling and take action to help them. Don’t wait for the person to ask for help, because chances are they will not want to feel like they are a burden or imposing themselves on anyone. Instead of telling them, “Let me know if I can do anything for you” SHOW them you are there for them and be specific about what action you are willing to take to help them. If you say, “I’m here for you” then, physically be there for them.

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