Who else, other than strangers, can help you without expecting anything in return, without even knowing your name, and sometimes without even seeing or talking to you? Help need not always be monetary or material. A smile, stopping by to help you find the direction to a place, or giving his/her seat in the bus to let you sit, or helping you to stand up and collect yourself when you accidentally tripped and fell down while walking on the road, to name a few, are also profound forms of help. Most of us would have come across such incidents, when a stranger out of nowhere walked up to us, gave us the needed help, and simply walked away without even waiting for a ‘Thank you’ from us. What do we give in return for such timely, ‘no-strings attached’ help? A Thank you, of course, with all our heart, but nothing more than that.
Now compare this with the help we get from our ‘known’ people, which includes family members, friends, business associates and acquaintances. 99 % of the business friends help us for a return on investment at a later date. Personal friends and relatives help us because they have vested interests in us. Though it is a respectable form of help, it still has expectations from us. A minimum of ‘thank you’, at the least, will be expected from us. But one thing is common, whether personal or business, anyone who has helped us, WILL remember that they helped us at our most needed hour, and this naturally, creates expectations in them. When they are in a similar situation, we are obliged to help them in return. We have no freedom here. Strictly speaking, this can’t be called as help. This is give and take. But, it is this demanding circle of people we rely upon, too often and too much, only because they are predictable and reachable. But it so happens that, at times, our acquaintances fail to help us, the reason being anything. This can hurt, especially if we had expected a known someone to help us out. This is the reality of our known circle of people, this is their limitation, especially in a world that is becoming increasingly nuclear and demanding in nature. Acquainted people are a society of expectations – met and unmet. They are not available all the time, and even if available and willing to help, are not always without terms and conditions.
If you ever come across a situation where in you get no help from your friends and feel let down, take a walk to a nearby park or a mall, sit there and just observe the life around you. You WILL get help, provided you see and listen with your heart and not with your mind . The help could be from a physically challenged person selling popcorn at the entrance of the mall, quietly telling you to pick up yourself and fight your troubles courageously, or two happy children playing in the park indicating you to live your life in the ‘Now and Here’ or an elderly gentleman giving you a lift in his car and entertaining and educating you by telling his life’s story through the drive. Help from strangers is all around. Learn to identify them. Next time when a stranger helps you, thank him or her with all your being and awareness, so that the experience is etched in your memory for your future reference on inspiration. And remember, God is always anonymous.