Lending a Hand
Let me tell you two more true stories about “lending a hand” to others.
When I was growing up, the house I lived in was on a corner lot. My dad was a carpenter. He built the house I grew up in in south east Wisconsin.
When I was about ten years old, my next step neighbor’s husband passed away very suddenly.
At that point my brother and I took over the grass cutting and snow blowing responsibilities for our neighbor who became a single mom with four children.
Since there were only four houses per block, the grass cutting and snow blowing was on one-half of city block on the front and side of our house including our neighbor’s house.
It was something my brother and I did to lend a hand. We were never paid and never expected to be paid by our neighbor. In fact my dad, my brother and I even paid for the gas required for the lawn mowers and snow blowers.
When I was a software engineer at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Naperville, Illinois, I was part of the Bell Labs Community Outreach program.
One of my volunteer assignments to assist the high school students at Simeon Career Academy High School in the city of Chicago with learning computer programming.
Once a week we would drive from Naperville, which is a city about 30 miles west of Chicago into the City of Chicago.
Simeon is located in the Chatham area of the South Side of Chicago, 81st and S Vincennes Avenue and is primarily an African-American community.
For those of you who do not know Chicago, the Chatham area was at that time and still is a dangerous area of the city in which a lot of violent crime occurs.
Recent statistics indicate that the Chatham area has an overall crime rate that is typically 100+ percent higher than the crime rates recorded in other parts of the city of Chicago.
One of the famous alumni of Simeon is Derrick Rose who played for the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks and was the most valuable player of the NBA in 2011.
My colleagues and I lent a hand to the students who desired to try to better themselves and give them other opportunities to make it out of their neighborhood and into a high-tech major in college or a technical school.
In both instances, lending a hand resulted in a positive impact for my next door neighbor and students at Simeon Career Academy High School.
There are many other instances in my life where I have lent a hand to others including my pro bono activities as a lawyer.
PODCAST: Lending a Hand
How can “lending a hand” make a difference in your life?
- You invest in your community. When you lend a hand, you invest in your community and the people in it. You decrease separation, mis-understanding and fear. You create new connections, gain a deeper understanding of others in a calm and confident way.
- You co-create a state of cooperation. When you lend a hand, you co-create a state of empathy, camaraderie and teamwork with people from diverse backgrounds and diverse points of view. You co-create new ways for people to work closely together towards personal or common goals understanding the contrasts between you and the people you are now cooperating with.
- You co-create a state of mutual benefit. When you lend a hand, you share your own education, personal experiences and professional experiences with others providing valuable benefits to them. In return, you gain new knowledge, understanding, and experiences from the people you are lending a hand to, providing valuable benefits to you. You decrease isolation and increase harmony and the depth and richness of your interactions with other people.
Lending a hand will always create a positive impact in your own life and the lives of others you are interacting with.
I am still “lending a hand” whenever I can. How about you?
Out There on the Edge of Everything® …
Stephen Lesavich, PhD
Copyright © 2023, by Stephen Lesavich, PhD. All rights reserved.