Walking to lunch, I’m always in a hurry because if you get there late you won’t get a seat close to all your friends. I have been late before, and know the shame and boredom of being moved far from my companions, so my feet moved quickly. I was speaking with my friends and as we turned around the corner I saw an eighth grade girl crash into another boy, dropping all of the binders she was holding in the process. As the other boy scuttered away I watched the girl look down at her stuff sprawled on the ground, helplessly wondering how she will ever make it to class on time aftering having to pick it all up. Even though I was really hungry, and wanted to talk to my friends, I knew what I had to do. I quickly walked over to the other side of the hallway and approached the girl. Without saying anything, I bent down and started helping her pick up her things.
“Oh my gosh thank you!” she exclaimed. I looked up at her and saw her face. It made my heart jump. The short blonde girl looked at me with big blue eyes that showed this great appreciation, joy of my presence and relief from the embarrassment of her current situation. I smiled.
“No problem.” After I got everything and handed it to her, I grinned and said bye. I watched her walk off, making it to class barely on time. I snapped out of my thoughts and realized I was late to lunch. I dashed to the lunchroom and found that I didn’t have a seat. While I sat down on the outskirts of my group of friends, I realized I wouldn’t have wanted a better seat, I wanted to help that girl. The look she gave me, her initial embarrassment that turned into relief, something that meant so much more than a simple “thank you”. It meant, I appreciate you, I recognize what you did for me all in this one look. I haven’t seen her since, nor got another thank you, or a pat on the back, but it didn’t matter. Knowing I did the right thing, that is the biggest compliment I can give myself.
I wish I always thought to help people like this. This narrative is not just about me walking to lunch, it is about what realization I came to after it. I have since realized I want to be more selfless, I want the pause I make before helping people to vanish. As humans, we are so focused on our own lives that we don’t have time to stop and help others. It should be a natural reflex to go help people, not something we should ponder and consider before we actually do it. Selflessness in others is a quality I will always admire and something I strive to be.