Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Unexpected Lessons on an Escalator - Asking for Help

Jackson's mom holds his younger brother's hand and grows ever-smaller as she glides down the escalator, looking back at her son with expectation and encouragement. At the bottom of the short escalator, she calls back, "Come on! You can do it!" A seven-year-old in camo pants and an Indiana Jones hat, Jackson is terrified and frozen, his eyes glued to the constant new step that appears under his little blue Croc sandals. At the top of the down escalator, little Jackson draws a small crowd as we wait for him to jump on the moving stairs so we can board our plane to Charlottetown, P.E.I.

"Do you want to hold my hand?" a young 20-something woman offers, standing patiently behind the little man. Gripping the rail and tilting back his head, he looked at her with round eyes from under the wide brim of his hat and says quietly, but clearly, "I need help."  He grips the girl's hand and bravely, together, they step onto the moving stairs.

At the bottom, he carefully hops off, watching the steps disappear into the floor. "You made it!" his mother exclaimed. "Yes," Jackson says solemnly. "That girl saved my life."

How often do we need to admit, "I need help," to reach out and take the proffered hand of a friend, or a stranger? And, as Jackson shows us, to recognize the family, friends and strangers who help save us as we navigate the trickier times in life.


(What I imagine the little man to be feeling - http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmmphoto/6915186255/)

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