A friend of mine is going through a bad breakup - by which I mean getting out of a domestic abusive relationship. When she finally confided in me what was going on, I told her to go to the police. I kept asking her what was going on, but never pressured her to talk. All I wanted were updates. She eventually left him and spent some time in the hospital and with her family a few hours away.
When she asked if she could stay on couch, I immediately told her of course she could. When she asked if she could sleep in my basement for a week I told her she would be staying on the couch. I thought I had an air mattress; turns out I do not. I tried to make the couch more comfortable, but it really is not nice. I do feel badly about it.
She has been worried about my safety from the beginning of her leaving because I have always helped in the past when someone needed food or a place to stay. Apparently I am the clear choice for help.
I'm flattered, truly. My friend keeps thanking me. I accept it, but do not fully understand. She needs help. I can help. Why would I not? To me, this is just basic human behaviour. If I can, I will. I also like to think that if I ever need help, someone will help me without expecting something in return. Therefore, why would I not?
She said to me that the human reaction is to offer condolences but turn a blind eye to suffering. She said that my willingness to help makes me super human.
But I'm not super human. I pass people asking for money all the time when I'm driving. I'd rather sit on my couch than go to a food pantry and help people. I've never taken in a homeless person, even in the dead of winter. There is so much I have not done, that I not do, but should do. In the end, I am just a human - an ordinary, selfish human.