Tell us about a time when you should have helped someone… but didn’t.
If I’m too busy writing I usually am so focused in what I’m doing that I unfortunately don’t notice if someone needs my help. If somebody needs me and asks, I usually help. But now my life is about helping since I’m taking care of my mom. So I’m sensitive to everything about helping. I try to walk in the other person’s shoes.
I remember one day in San Francisco, a homeless woman entered a mexican bakery with the change she had collected in the street to buy a leaf of bread. A man paid for the bread but the attendant was very rude with the homeless. When I finished my shopping I found the homeless outside crying. She wanted to talk and I listened to her. She was sad because everybody yelled at her and nobody loved her. She needed a hug. So I give her a big hug. People passing by were looking at us a little funny, but I didn’t care. I gave her what she was looking for.
I can remember a time I didn’t help a person in need, but out of fear. I was going home from my newsroom after midnight and I had to drive through a local road very dark. Suddenly a man appeared walking in the middle of the road unsteady. I had to step on my brakes to avoid hitting him. I thought maybe he could be drunk or drugged. But what if he was wounded or sick? I wasn’t busy. I was scared to death. I had had a really bad experience with a man in a dark road before. All those bad memories came to me in an instant. This one didn’t ask for help. I didn’t offer. I just called the equivalent in my country to 911 to report there was a man walking dangerously in the middle of the road in risk of being hit by a car. I never knew what happened with him. I often wonder. I have been in other situations with scary people and I chose to call 911. Maybe I’m a coward when I’m alone. Maybe is the right thing to do. I don’t know.
About being busy, my doctor says I’m too busy to help… me. This is what they use to tell you when you suffer a depression. That you have to stop worrying too much about others and start taking care of yourself. But I find that a bit egocentric and difficult to follow, above all when you have responsibilities taking care of others and you’re so tired you can’t take a new responsibility, even if it’s about yourself.