Tuesday, April 12, 2005

You'll Need a P Valve For That.

Something I've come to understand about my C is that there is only one thing that will capture his attention faster than the blinkie box....and that is a stranger in need.

We can be walking along when suddenly, I realize he's not beside me. If I look around, I can generally find him boy scouting his way around the general area. Whether it's someone in the hardware store that is trying to figure out which vent plate to buy or a car full of people looking for directions, my C is the first one to get up in there without being asked.

This is one of the differences between him and I. While I also want to help people, I've had enough experiences wherein my assistance or offer of assistance was just taken the wrong way. Things happened, people got upset.

I once offered to hold a door open for a lady using a walker. She angrily informed me that she could very well do it herself - and scurried off mumbling what I can only assume to be "boil boil, toil and trouble...."

While I understand that one acrimonious encounter should not prevent me from offering to help, I now can't prevent over-analysis of any impulse to do so:

"If I offer to help that man in a wheel chair, will he think I am only doing that because I think he's incapable of getting by on his own?" "If I tell that woman at the table next to us where she can find the book she's talking about, will she have me arrested for eavesdropping?" "If I grab a small child that is running past me because I fear he/she will run into the street and get hit by a car, will I be accused of kidnapping?"

And what makes it worse is the fact that I am personally reluctant to accept assistance from anyone. My mom taught me to always be able to take care of myself. She taught me that nothing was worse than relying on someone - even a little bit - and then being trapped because you went from relying on them to needing them. Therefore, I can understand the anger just a teeny bit.

This is one stellar formula for Zoom gear siezure.

C doesn't hesitate at all.

I remember one time C and I happened to witness a guy forcibly handling a woman in a parking lot. C immediately started walking towards them. He was going to help. I wanted to call the police and stay a good distance away. Before he got more than 4 steps in, a security guard noticed the disturbance and began to take control. It ended about there, the girl got away and the guy left angry.

I'm glad he does what he does. Even though at times I'm afraid he will get hurt, it's who he is and it makes him happy.

After all, if he hadn't taken the chance to help me learn to rely on another person once in a while, I might have missed out on him completely.

There would have been no greater tragedy in my life.

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