A helping hand

Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. Babies, of course, need constant care. As we grow we pride ourselves on our competence and independence but still help is welcomed at times (including old ladies being helped across the street by boy scouts, even if they don’t want to go!)

There is an Arab saying to the following effect: “Do not thank me for the assistance or gift I give you, instead do a favour for 7 other people.” The size of the assistance is immaterial; it is expected to be in line with the resources of the giver and the need of the recipient. Thus it may be a pat on the back for commiseration, helping carry a parcel or a major undertaking on the assister’s behalf. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we could all follow this proverb?

Members of U3A contribute to our organisation as members or past members of the committee, part of the set up crew, washer uppers and morning tea volunteers and in many other ways. This year we seem to have a small army of people helping with the anniversary celebrations in some way or another.

Many of our members also volunteer for charitable organisations or are on committees for other organisations. Of course many of us care for older or sick family members. We often assist our children to bring up our grandchildren and give them our support where possible.

Sometimes all the help needed is a sympathetic smile, a listening ear, a hug or offering the help we are able to give. We respect their refusal of help accepting that this may not be what is needed.

The good wishes of friends and acquaintances can be a good support. When I was ill last year our Committee did most of my work for months. But I was surprised by the boost that the good wishes of all of you made to my getting through the days.

I joined U3A for the lectures and activities and still that is the prime reason I attend, but I am proud to be a colleague of such caring and helpful people as we have in our membership.

Jocelyn Head

Honorary President of U3A Clarence