Helping Begins with a Question

When you see someone struggling with a big box on a staircase, believe it or not, but grabbing the box and pulling up to the top of the stairs is not necessarily helping them.

When you see someone lying face down on the street motionless, you wouldn’t grab them and move them around, so why do it with a box?

Helping begins with a question: like ‘Are you OK?’, or ‘Can I help you?’, or ‘How can I help you?’

Maybe the person was trying to get the box down the stairs, not up. By grabbing the box and pulling it up the stairs, you were actually undoing work they already did.

And if you stop to ask someone lying in the street if they need help, maybe they’ll say, “Hey, lady, we’re shooting a movie here. Would you mind stepping aside, please?” Only if the person doesn’t respond or move at all would it be wise to roll them over and try to figure out what’s wrong.

My point is: helping someone begins by asking them how you can be helpful. If you don’t ask that first, maybe you won’t be.


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