Being Helpful

A long time ago, there was a pretty famous book entitled All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. It was cute and seemed quaint, but it is so true. To be happy and reasonably successful as a grown-up, you can get quite a long way by just starting with be helpful and kind to everyone.

This week, a couple of people have asked for help in the job search. For some reason, I have been getting a ton of emails from different recruiters lately, so I have been passing these on to people who have asked for help. It’s up to them to apply to these jobs, or sign up with the recruiter themselves, of course, but sometimes, all someone needs is the key to the next door to find a treasure trove of opportunity.

I obviously don’t have the time to be everyone’s personal job concierge.  But I do like meeting people, and like passing on opportunities- If I can’t solve someone’s problems, maybe it came to my desk so I could pass the opportunity on to someone who needs it more than I do. And if something works out, then it was a moment worth taking.

We all get stuck sometimes, and aren’t sure where to go next.  Where’s the next rock to cross the stream? You can feel trapped and unsure, and it’s a miserable feeling for sure. Asking for help is important, but you also have to be as specific as possible, so you get the kind of help you want.  General pleas don’t have enough information so someone can say- well, I can help you with that!! And its important to remember spending a few minutes listening to a problem can make a world of difference to someone else, even if you can’t help.

There are times things seem complicated and messy. Take the time to be kind, help out, be fair, share, and surprisingly, you feel better as you help make others feel a little better too.  If nothing else, it’s good karma.

And here are the rules Robert Fulghum came up with. I would add – don’t forget to hold hands and help someone who looks lonely make a new friend.

“These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):

1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don’t hit people.
4. Put things back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
9. Flush.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first worked you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.”
Robert FulghumAll I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

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