Today I ran to the bank between appointments. As I was standing on a street corner in the old city of Be’er Sheva, an older woman asked me if I spoke Russian (no), if I was going to the bank (yes) and if I could help her print out a form from the bank machine (happy to).
Unfortunately the machine she needed was out of order, so we went into the bank and I walked her though the process on a more modern, and more complicated, self-service bank machine.
Agreeing to help her was an easy decision. Why wouldn’t I be happy to help? I only needed to take care of one quick thing, and I had half an hour before I needed to be back at the clinic to meet my next patient.
But what if I didn’t have half an hour?
If I had run to the bank during a five minute break, I probably would have told the woman that I could not help her. Not because I would have become a less kind or helpful person, but because I would have had to choose between being late for my next patient (a person I had made a personal commitment to, and who was waiting just for me) and refusing to help a stranger (who I had no personal commitment to, and who could ask the next person to go by for help).
When you have cash in your back account it is easier to give charity.
When you have energy at the end of the work day it is easier to have patience with your kids.
When your knees don’t hurt it is easier to give up your seat on the bus to someone who needs it more.
Taking care of yourself, not pushing yourself to always give 110%, saving money, leaving 5 minutes early so you are not rushed – all these things let you take care of other people.
What do you need to do for yourself to be able to contribute more?
Hi! I’m Havva Mahler, a practitioner of Chinese medicine: acupuncture, Chinese herbs, reflexology, tuina, sotai and a bunch of other words you’ve probably never heard of 🙂
I also spend a lot of time thinking and learning about human behavior, because so much of our health is dependent on our actions.
You can find more thoughts on health, wellness and personal growth on my blog, and you can also sign up here to get future blog posts delivered by
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