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Help Me Out

It’s that time of year again. Just last week I was calling “Hell week” and everyone is exhausted now that midterms are mostly over, or even still going on. Whether you’re over-worked, feeling unappreciated, lonely, or scared, there’s someone out there who can cheer you up or comfort you. “Chain of Love” by Clay Walker is a beautiful song about giving back to the community and kindness between strangers. It really shows the possibility for love in the world and the human race as a whole and it’s a beautiful reminder that maybe World Peace isn’t such a far-flung idea after all. If we all thought this way all the time, it would really help everyone and maybe improve all forms of human interaction.
“You don’t owe me a thing, I’ve been there too/Someone once helped me out, /Just the way I’m helping you. /If you really want to pay me back,/Here’s what you do: /Don’t let the chain of love end with you.”
People helping people, particularly people they don’t already know, and when it has no benefit for themselves, is one of the most beautiful things in the world. The concept of the last line of the chorus, “Don’t let the chain of love end with you” reminds me of those paper chains we used to make in elementary school to show the number of days left in the school year or until Christmas break. As kids, I remember we never wanted to stop making the chain, that it was fun to see how long we could make it and how much we could add to it. I wish that as adults we could feel the same way. If everyone retained that same optimism, maybe the entire world would already have found a way to communicate without violence, threats or invasion.
“He was driving home one evening,/In his beat-up Pontiac/When an old lady flagged him down:/Her Mercedes had a flat./He could see that she was frightened,/Standing out there in the snow/ ‘Til he said ‘I’m here to help you, Ma’am. By the way, my name’s Joe.’”
Taking the time out of your day to stop and help someone who is struggling, in one way or another, can be very rewarding. It doesn’t even have to be something as big as stopping to help take care of someone’s flat tire. The other day I stopped in my path to Holloway Commons to give directions to the Paul Creative Arts Center and the really sincere thanks that I received was surprising and did give me that cliche ‘warm fuzzy feeling.’ It could do the same for you.
“She couldn’t help but notice,/How the waitress smiled so sweet/And how she must’ve been eight months along/And dead on her feet./And though she didn’t know her story,/And she probably never will/When the waitress went to get her change,/From a hundred dollar bill/The lady slipped right out the door,/And on a napkin left a note./There were tears in the waitress’ eyes,/When she read what she wrote.”
Don’t forget to tip your waitresses! Okay, but seriously, even something so small as a 20 percent tip is very important to people who work hard to make your dining experience great. Don’t forget that. Also don’t forget that for some, this is their full time, adult career, so don’t treat them as inferior to you. Especially in foreign countries, where this type of job is highly coveted and takes years of professional and academic training. Being considerate even of people you would normally take for granted is another really great way to improve somebody’s day and possibly their life overall. I’m not saying leave a hundred dollar bill tip, but be generous. Generosity is definitely a good trait to have and it can apply to so many parts of life.
“That night when she got home from work,/The waitress climbed into bed/She was thinking about the money,/And what the lady’s note had said./As her husband lay there sleeping,/She whispered soft and low/’Everything’s gonna be alright. I love you, Joe.’”
I think the way that this song ends is symbolic of the idea that you get what you give, also known as Karma. That is, that when you do good things for other people, selflessly, often that kindness will in some form or another come back to you. I don’t  think it’s necessarily always so direct as this, but I think it’s an accurate portrayal of that concept in the long-run. I mean, there’s only so many verses that can fit into one song.
“You don’t owe me a thing, I’ve been there too/Someone once helped me out,/Just the way I’m helping you./If you really want to pay me back, /Here’s what you do: /Don’t let the chain of love end with you.”
No matter how tough life is treating you right now, remember that you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. There are people who can support you and help you get through whatever you’re struggling against; that next test or a bad break up, or even something more extreme. You just need to find them. Don’t give up!

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