In the TV series on Netflix, “New Amsterdam,” I’m always intrigued by the consistent question posed to everyone by the lead Doctor, Max Goodwin – “How can I help?” He probably asks that question 20 times per episode. If you pay attention to what people say, this should stand out for you. He keeps asking at every opportunity, “How can I help?” It was the reason he decided to become a doctor; it was his mantra.
Interestingly, I have heard the same question asked of me many times in the last three weeks of our North American tour. From Houston to North Carolina, from North Carolina to Maryland, Maryland to Edmonton, Edmonton to Toronto, Toronto to Atlanta, Atlanta to Dallas, and Dallas back to Houston. I have heard this question over 10 times too, and it’s such a question that needs to be thought through. These words are sweet music to the soul but can be a total waste if you don’t have a clear picture of how you need help.
I have been asking people too and have come to realize that many times when you ask people, you may need to look through their unique circumstances and come up with ideas on how you can help. Receiving help is not easy; it requires thinking and being considerate.
As human beings, we need help. There is a lot of evidence in evolutionary psychology, social psychology, sociology, and neuroscience showing our ability to survive and grow mentally and emotionally is connected to our need for other human beings. Our field of vision can’t see 360 degrees; we can only see about 1/4 of this, meaning that to see clearly all around us, we need at least three other perspectives. It’s also interesting to note that most people who are trying to survive are laser-focused on themselves and don’t think enough about others to ask how they can help. The strange thing, however, is that we ourselves receive the greatest support when we lend our little strength in the service of others.
Don’t just waltz past life today; pause, look deeply, and ask – “How can I help?”