How can I help you?

By Ty Salvant

Recently, at the beginning of a meeting, I was asked, “How can I help you?” For a split second, I was caught off guard by the question. The purpose of the was meeting to connect, but usually, these meetings are a little more nuanced, and there’s a dance before a genuine offer is made. Because I was prepared for this meeting, I had a few ideas and was open to additional suggestions. It was extremely fruitful, encouraging and affirming. Admittedly, as a helper, I’m also used to being on the other side of that sentiment, so it was nice being on the receiving end.

I’ll share a little secret with you. For the past year or so, I have tried to help someone daily. If you are kind, you likely do multiple thoughtful actions throughout the day – many times mindlessly. Naturally, we hold the door open for someone or allow someone with one item to go ahead of us in line.

But, are you actively looking for things to do? Big or small, loved one or stranger? The size of the gesture or recipient doesn’t matter. I intentionally introduce people who would benefit from knowing each other; I think about who would enjoy the book I’m reading and share the title with them or select a few friends or acquaintances to receive a handwritten note or meet up for coffee.

Consider baking homemade goods for a neighbor or sending a care package to a new mom to remind her that she is seen, loved and appreciated. God places people in our lives for various reasons, and they all can experience his love through us.

Feb. 17th is National Random Act of Kindness Day (RAOK). Can you commit to performing at least one RAOK between now and then?

Sometimes, we overthink how to be kind. There is always someone in our path whom we can help. Do we take the time to look, really look, at how we can serve? Do we consider serving not only our family, friends and neighbors, but our “neighbor”?

Spend a few days talking to the people in your larger circle to see if there is a need that you can fulfill. If you still need ideas, visit

I’m looking forward to a beautiful day filled with people experiencing God’s love through us. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself, too. Whether that means going for a walk, drinking water, taking a nap, saying no to a request or saying yes to you. Make time for being kind and gracious to yourself.

To the driver who stopped so I could cross Allen Toussaint Boulevard yesterday, thank you! Your kind deed brought a smile to my face, fullness to my heart and was the inspiration to write this blog.


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