As a kid I was taught that proof of being a good person and pillar of society was to do nice things like helping old ladies across the road! In my mind as a child it was one of those things that good people aspired to do and Police Officers did as part of their job, plus was used repeatedly in different children’s TV programmes. Please, please, please tell me I was not alone in this!!!
On my run this week, I achieved a higher level of goodness. For I cannot ever recall actually helping an old lady across the road before, however, I was the first to stop to assist an elderly woman who was having a seizure, on my bike ride to school once, and I was praised by the headmaster in assembly for potentially saving her life. But I have never helped an old lady across a road.
So back to my run. I was against the clock and witnessed an elderly lady in a mobility scooter attempting to cross a reasonably busy road connected to the main road. I was so proud, in my high vis running jacket and lycra jogging leggings, to forget about running a good time and instead stand in the road to demonstrate to any passing motorist that I was facilitating an act of old lady passage across a busy road! Not to achieve a personal ambition I might add, it was just the right thing to do and the first opportunity I have ever had to do it in 44 years on this earth.
She was safe, she was happy, I was happy, and we went on our way. Imagine my surprise when ten minutes later I happened across an elderly lady with a walking frame attempting to cross a main road. This was more dangerous and I actually feared for her safety. This time I stood in the busy road, stopped cars in both directions and waited for her to cross.
The drivers of the two cars that stopped were beaming from ear to ear, smiling at me and congratulating me, probably realising an ambition they had from a very young age of helping an old lady across the road! But that was two for me in the space of 10 minutes. We were all happy and I suddenly thought of another old saying that I learned as a kid about two incidences of the same thing happening in quick succession of each other…. You know, jeeesh it’s just like busses!
I did some research not too long ago about a social worth initiative I am still passionate about building, regarding the effect of helping. Did you know that when you help someone, serotonin is released in both you and the person helped, thus making you both feel good?
So I naturally felt great during and after my run and felt great for the rest of the day. This got me thinking if we could make the world a better place just by being more helpful. I then thought about how to go about it. Well I’m not as much as an influencer as I would like to be, but there are a few people in the world that could make something seismic happen!
So if any anyone knows Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and anyone else that has a platform with millions of followers, can you kindly ask them to agree on a date in, let’s say six months’ time, to hold ‘World Being Helpful Day’ and promote the backside off it on Facebook, LinkedIn, MSN etc. and encourage everyone for that day, from morning to night, to just spend the day helping everyone around them.
Imagine the size of the release of serotonin and the happiness spike this would create. The instant increase in mental wellbeing would be phenomenal! Could crime rates drop, could disputes be settled, could wars end…. well maybe a bit unrealistic, but blimey, wouldn’t this be a nice day, and one to remember.
I’ve achieved my goodness this week by helping two old ladies across the road, yes two, and I am constantly on the lookout for other people to help. Are you?