The Helpful Gene

I can’t help but be helpful.

Or nosy and overbearing, depending on your perspective. From my perspective, I am helpful.

Helpful = Right

Case in point: Friday afternoon at Barnes & Noble, I overheard a lady talking to her husband. They were one table over from mine.

Lady: We need to get involved in a CSA.
Husband: A what?
Lady: A CSA.
Husband: What the hell is a CSA?
Lady: Well, uh, it’s … just a minute … it’s in this book …

Lady struggles to find what CSA stands for.

Me: Community Supported Agriculture
Lady: Yeah! That!

See, that was helpful. I did manage to just shut up after that and not pummel her with my plethora of information on CSA’s and the the fact that a friend of mine is actually starting one and in the process of signing folks up for it right now! It was excruciating to shut up. If she had given me any indication that she would like to mine me for more information, I would have vomited CSA all over her.

It’s a curse really.

As you can tell on this blog, I’m prone to the occasional (okay daily) over-share.  I can’t just stop with the Reader’s Digest version either. The problem is that most of the time even while I’m spewing forth all of this sage advice, I am realizing I’m making absolutely no sense and randomly flinging facts and info at people.

It’s even worse when I see a need somewhere that I could fill if only I were so inclined. For example, a couple of people have asked me about blogging, and how to do it. It’s easy. You can set up a free blog in minutes. It’s the kind of thing that I think lots of folks would be interested in starting.

Here is another example of my helpful gene on overload. Just the other day as I was trolling Facebook, I came across this Webster County Library post:

I couldn’t let it go without a comment … and a plug for the blog. Then I got to thinking, I bet those Adult Journalers would really dig learning how to blog online. I could call the library and set up a time for a class and get them all signed up and on board the blogging train. Then I thought, Am I insane? I don’t have time to do the things I need and want to do right now. 

I didn’t call the library. But I still think it would be a good idea. This happens dozens of time a week. I offer unsolicited advice or dispense information (immediately helpful if not appreciated) and think of spectacularly good ideas that would be supremely helpful to others. Then I get home and do the laundry, fix dinner, watch my DVR’d shows and the inspiration to help others evaporates. Poof!

It brings to mind the quote, “God helps those who help themselves”. Which I was pretty sure was a Bible quote, but apparently is not. (See helpful link to the Wikipedia page for your reading pleasure) Still, I think it’s helpful, if not a little selfish.

My dilemma is this; if I CAN help, MUST I help? Because I’ve often got a good dose of Catholic guilt about such things which is ironic because I’m a Methodist.  Some things are just universal I suppose.  Maybe I just need a better personal filter so I don’t have to feel guilty about not acting on every good idea. I wonder if you can get one of those on Amazon?

Now that would be helpful.


2 thoughts on “The Helpful Gene

  1. I do it too! I so understand. Apparently there is something about me , because wherever I am people tend to assume I work there and ask me random questions.


  2. I am a font of useless information. Nobody needs/wants to know how to make your own Lye-water, which plants growing in your yard are edible, what a mansard roof is etc…


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