Since I was a little girl I was considered "a helper" -- my early report cards commented and said that I was always willing to help others; in grade 4, when a new student came from Israel to join our class, the teacher asked for some volunteers to help be a peer to this girl and be involved with English as a Second Language -- guess whose hand rose in the air? I couldn't wait to turn thirteen years old so that I could be a candy striper in a seniors' home/hospital; I volunteered with special-needs adults for several years; I worked for Jewish Chaplaincy services, visiting Jewish people in public nursing homes; I like to help causes in those areas in which I display strengths (editing, writing, promoting)
For some reason (I think it's a wonderful inherited trait from a parent) I've been blessed with a concerned and helpful nature. It's not that I necessarily go out on a limb to help people, but it's a natural outlet for me; it comes easy to me.
Sometimes, however, good intentions are misconstrued. I'll never forget in grade school when a peer fell in the schoolyard, and me being my natural wanna-help self, asked before we came in from recess, "Ari, are you okay?" I got back such a sarcastic retort: "Yes, Nurse Pearl. I'm fine!" I meant well, but it backfired at that point in time...and I sort of hurt because I'd meant well but this ten year old kid didn't want to hear it from me.
I don't know why I'm attracted to certain causes more than others, why I seek to help some people more than I do others. Something touches a heart chord, a nerve, I guess.
But I'm more than happy when I am able to offer my compassion, my interest, my time to help further a cause, to help console someone, to help bring out the best in someone else. Because when I do that, I'm also bringing out the best in me!