I like to help people. In a way, that’s been the guiding light for almost everything I do. I justify my job through whether or not I’m helping others, whether that’s fixing a computer problem, helping someone do their job, listening to a requirement and turning that into an actionable change or bigger picture stuff like providing support to get more children participating in sport or helping build the groundwork that may one day change how health care is administered.
My parents sometimes like to tell a story about how I came home from school one day crying. I was living in Chester at the time and a kid in my class said his family couldn’t afford the $15 or whatever it was for a field trip and that really bothered me. So I begged my parents to let me pay for him or to take it out of my allowance. In the end, my parents ended up going into the school to find that the school had a program to handle these things.
My dad says I wear my heart of my sleeve and maybe that’s true. Or maybe I’m just a complete bleeding heart. I’ve been reading from this Forty Days of Dating project for some time, but today’s entry really hit me: the whole perception that someone who is trying to make everyone happen might also appear to be completely spineless.
At times, I feel like I carry too much of this, more than I need to and more than anyone ever asked me to. But I shoulder this load and then eventually falter or end up like that guy in the book I read, handing out huge chunks of flesh to try to spread the weight. I find myself sharing in the dreams of others and honestly hoping for a better path for those who need it. Of course, I also unabashedly put myself on that moral high horse or up on that cross if it’s too my own advantage.
And then there’s the flip side, where I shoulder these loads, whether it’s all of my own doing or people shovelling their individual loads on board, and when I need someone to help me with my own load, I feel like I come up empty.
I don’t know, today alone, I saved a little girl from two spiders, but I wasn’t able to save the world.