Have you offered your hand lately?

I made a trip to IKEA today to pick up a new kitchen sink. The new kitchen had been installed 4 months ago but the sink I wanted was out of stock at the time. The waiting time of 4-6 weeks had drifted out somewhat and I have tired of washing dishes in my bathroom basin.

Well, the sink arrived back in stock today, so I went to collect.

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I walked out of IKEA today and had in mind to blog about the genius of the IKEA concept and in-store marketing and how it has influenced the décor of homes today. However, that has already been covered perfectly in Fight Club.

The IKEA closest to me has a separate warehouse for the collection of some of the larger items. You wait at the front of the warehouse and the items are rolled out by staff on a trolley for your collection.

I was waiting for my order when I saw a young lady pushing a trolley out the door with a very large mirror on top. My order came out next, so I pushed my trolley out to the car park. I looked across and saw the young lady attempting unsuccessfully to place her very large mirror inside her small hatchback. Unless she broke the mirror in two, there was no way that it would fit.

I walked over and asked if she wanted me to put her mirror in the back of my ute and drop it to her place. The young lady was very thankful, so I loaded the mirror onto the ute and delivered it to her home.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking to bask in the glow of adoration for my good deed today. Quite the opposite. The experience actually made me realise how apathetic to people in obvious need. I was, in fact, hesitant to ask the young lady if she needed help. Partly, because it would inconvenience me and also as my offer of help be taken as a sneaky sexual advance. The later possibly getting a ‘F**k off you old bugger’ directed at me.

I reflected on how many times I have looked the other way when I could have offered a hand to people. There used to be a time when I would pull over to the side of the road and help to push a car that had broken down. Now I just think of how pulling over would cause me to be late for some ‘important’ engagement.

The thought disappointed me. Had I become so self-absorbed that I can’t even make the effort to offer help to a fellow person in need? Am I really that important that the world will come to an end if I’m 5 minutes late to an appointment? Has society changed so much that any offer of help from a male stranger should be viewed with caution? Well, in the case of the last point, as I’m 6’3″, have a shave head and numerous tattoos, maybe erring on the side of caution is understood.

I try to have the point of view that any experience is an opportunity to learn. Today I learned that I could be more caring towards people. Offering a hand, a kind word or even a smile takes little effort but gives back so much.

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