What to Do When Someone is in Need

What My Four-Year Old Daughter Taught Me About Helping Others

When someone is in need, what do you do? Whether it’s a friend, a stranger, a family member, or someone who works for you, how you respond to people in need defines who you are and what your legacy will be. So, how do you respond? Well, it starts with a lesson from a four-year old.

What to Do When Someone is in Need

Earlier this summer, our four-year old daughter and I went out to pick up some dinner to bring home. As we left the restaurant and came to an intersection, we both saw a homeless man off to the side asking for money.

I drove on, instantly forgetting the existence of a man in need. My life is too busy, too important, and too comfortable to worry about someone else. I moved on. Aracelli did not.

She began to cry and told me something that I will never forget. She said:

Take Action

That’s what you do when someone is in need. You help them.

What to do when someone is in needYes, it is that simple.

We didn’t know the perfect way to help him. We didn’t form a committee, hold meetings, or pray about it for days. We took action.

The man clearly looked hungry, so we got him some food and just to brighten his day, some ice cream. I scribbled a note to him, included some money and handed him everything. His reaction was pure gratitude and joy.

You can read the note on the right. I wanted this man to know that a four-year old gets it. She knows what to do when people are in need.

People in Need Are Everywhere

You will come across people every day who are in need.

A co-worker who seems down.

A sister who lost her job.

A neighbor who lost his wife.

An employee whose child is in the hospital.

A stranger who seems lost.

So, what do you do? You take action. You do something.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. By no means do I think that a hot dog, chips, ice cream and twenty bucks was perfect. It’s what we had, though. The important thing is that you do something to help.

You ask the co-worker to lunch.

You encourage your sister to get back on her feet.

You listen to your neighbor’s stories.

You give the employee some time off.

You offer directions to the stranger.

Whatever you do, don’t leave them behind. Your character and your legacy are at stake here. Be known as someone who helps those in need. Be remembered as someone’s hero.

Question: What can you do today to help someone in need? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Wow! Nearly the same thing just happened to me last night… Homeless man sitting outside taco bell. I offered to buy him dinner and he declined. While in Taco Bell I met a nice lady which turned into a very important business contact. God blesses those who bless others! Thanks for sharing and have a “world-changing” weekend! BTW, I’ll be swinging through Ft. Wayne on Sunday afternoon… Every time I do I think of that really awesome guy I know named Matt McWilliams :)

    • That is awesome Isaac! Wave to me when you pass through. I’ll likely be napping with a newborn!