Today I was taking my morning walk when I came upon a taxi van waiting for an elderly woman. As I approached I saw her struggle twice to get into the van and each time almost fall. The step up was too much for her. She needed something to lean on. So I approached her and asked if she would like some help. She smiled and said, “Yes please.”
I told her to lean on my shoulder and I would help her lift herself into the van. We did it together, I closed the door and away she went. I did my good deed for the day, even though I never intended to do a good deed. I was just walking when the opportunity presented itself.
Actually as I approached the van I thought about my own mother who is struggling with arthritis and unable to walk far without assistance. Recently my family met in New York where I rented a wheel chair for her. She was very grateful as this made it an easy trip through the maze of NYC.
I also thought about myself and wondered if I would someday be struggling to get into a van? Would someone stop to help me? Then I proceeded along with my walk ever so grateful for the ability to take long walks. My mother used to love to walk. I spent many afternoons taking a walk with my mother chit chatting about nothing and yet what we talked about was everything.
What does proactive aging have to do with helping an elderly woman into a van? It reminds me to be appreciative of where I am and what I still can do. It is so easy to complain about your aches and pains. It takes a little proactive energy to focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do.
When you help someone you get the benefit of doing a good deed. It makes everyone feel good to do a “random act of kindness.” Helping others reminds us to give. Everyone benefits from a good deed. So if you want to feel younger, help an elderly person get into a van and then appreciate that you still have the ability to get into the van by yourself. Know that your good deed will not go unrewarded. When that day comes that you need little help (and it will), a walker will walk by and lend you a hand. It’s good karma!