Words, Words, Words

What Is Your “Helping Others” Passion?

February is a month many people associate with love and passion, so I decided to talk about how we show love to others – with words and actions.

A few weeks ago, I was honored to be selected as a local TV station’s “everyday hero” on behalf of the Adult Literacy League (see the 1-minute video, below). Realizing that I had been tutoring adult literacy students for over 30 years, I thought back to an experience I had with one of my very first students. I was 36; she was 50. Pulled out of school so she could help her family work on the farm, she had missed a lot of school and now, wanted to learn how to read better. We met weekly from 6:30 to 7:30pm; we had met about 5 or 6 times already. I was sitting at my office desk at 6pm. It had been a long, rather stressful workday, I was tired, had cramps, and didn’t feel that I had any more energy. I thought about calling her to cancel, but realized that it was too late, so I would go to class.

When I walked into the classroom, I saw a few other students sitting with their tutors, and I saw my student sitting, waiting for me. We greeted each other, I sat down, and opened my book to start class. She stopped me. “I want you to know something. Last night, I woke up and thanked God that you were my tutor.” Well! That stopped me.

Even I, who is often obtuse, realized that this was a sign. Then and there, I made a promise that I would never cancel class just because I was tired. Even though I didn’t think that what I was doing was a big deal, I learned that evening that, to someone who is lost and needing and wanting help, what I was doing WAS a big deal – that I was a positive life changer.

My passion is to help others understand American English, but helping others isn’t just about teaching with words. Actions are just as important. They could be holding the door for someone, smiling or nodding at a passing pedestrian, showing a kid how to ride a bike or sew a button, giving a friend a hug. Our actions can make a big difference at just the moment when that support is needed.

What is your “helping others” passion?


To donate to the Adult Literacy League, go to: HOME – Adult Literacy League. Thank you! 🤗

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