Write about a time you helped someone. How did it make you feel?
I once sat next to a girl on an airplane that was afraid of turbulence. Before the plane even took off, she had told me that she was nervous about flying. I was so used to flying that turbulence no longer bothered me. But I could remember a time when it did make me nervous, and it was always helpful to have a hand to hold. When we took off, she started gripping the arms of her seat and I offered her my hand for comfort. She willingly took it. Once we reached our altitude, she was okay. During the times that our flight got bumpy, she would automatically reach for my hand and grab it. I half-expected it, so I was always ready, holding it out to her. By the time there was an announcement that we were beginning our descent, she reached for my hand and held it for the remainder of the flight. I didn’t mind because I know that the landing can sometimes be rough.
When the plane landed, the girl let go of my hand and said, “Thank you so much for helping me. I wish you were going to be on my next flight. We go good together.” We then parted ways and I never saw her again.
I think one of the most wonderful things about interacting with strangers is that we have these brief connections with people somewhere in the world that we don’t even know. Some of those connections we hold on to. I’ll never forget that moment, because I knew that I had helped that girl during a time when she was afraid. I knew that simply by having a hand to hold, even a hand of a stranger, she received comfort. I made that flight easier for her.
When we can turn to others in a. time of need, even when we don’t know them, it’s a moment of real human connection. In the same way people run to the aid of others when they witness something bad happening. We have a natural instinct to help one another when it matters, and that is a beautiful thing about humanity.
Sure, it was only a flight and it was a small action, but it mattered to her. It mattered to me.