Appreciating the Many Ways We Can Lend a Helping Hand
by Andrea Traietti ’21
Shortly before moving back to Providence this summer, I was having a conversation with my dad and he mentioned something he saw on Facebook that had really stuck with him. It was a quote that read, “Remember whenever you’re in a position to help someone, be glad and always do it because that’s God answering someone else’s prayers through you.”
I really liked the sentiment the quote conveyed and I found it especially relevant given the difficulties that so many individuals and families are facing right now, so I wrote it down in the notes app on my phone.
I forgot I had written it down until it came to mind as I was reading through mental health awareness posts on social media a few weeks ago during National Suicide Prevention Week.
Regardless of whether you are religious or not, I think the sentiment behind the quote is all the same: it can be difficult to identify what struggles a person might be silently contending with, and we do not always know what help someone else might be privately praying or hoping for.
However, offering help can sometimes be as easy as just checking in, sending a text to a friend to let them know you are thinking of them, or making time to meet up for a coffee. Understanding that help can take the form even of these small gestures makes it much easier to realize just how often many of us are in positions where we can help someone else.
There are many of us here at Providence College who are privileged in different ways, but there are also many students on this campus who do not have those same privileges. When it comes to mental health, there are more still who are struggling silently, especially in these uncertain times. Right now, we need to ensure that mental health awareness is something we prioritize and advocate for year round—not just for a designated week or month—and we must continue supporting and showing up for one another.
We should remember, therefore, that any time we are privileged enough to be able to offer help, we should offer it freely and gladly, as we never know when even the smallest act of kindness or support might be exactly what someone needs to keep moving forward.