Help each other

A person goes on vacation and asks their neighbor to watch their pet animals. The neighbor obliges. The neighbor writes a letter after: 

Good afternoon,

This letter is regarding your vacation two weeks ago, and how you let me babysit Smokey, Oreo, and Jennifer. I’d just like to give you a letter of thanks.

As you know, I’m an old man. You don’t see me outside often anymore, as these joints aren’t as lively as they used to be. To add to that, two years ago, in the midst of the pandemic, my dad got diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. After his death, I was left alone in my home. I don’t have a wife or kids. I could go to sleep one day and never wake up again. Every day is spent just sitting around and wondering what I have done for this world.

Until I met Smokey, Oreo, and Jennifer.

Your pets are the cutest, funniest, and most troublesome (In a good way, don’t worry, they didn’t mess up the house too much!) individuals. They gave me the motivation to restart my life again. I started waking up early in the mornings. I began to take walks outside with your pets for the first time in years. Every 10 minutes, whenever I felt sad for a second, they would bark or rub against my leg and make me laugh.

The highlight of their stay was when I took them to the park. It was the longest time I’ve spent outside in a while. It didn’t just bring back pet interaction, I also met other people, started talking, and made friends with a handful of fellow human beings. I was so happy to finally be able to talk with friends again, interact with others, and feel like I’m part of the human race.

I realize I sound very existential right now, but I’m telling the truth. It’s nice knowing that I’m doing something for someone, even if it’s my neighbor.

I adopted two pet dogs soon after. (You may have been hearing noise from my home. pardon them!) I now take regular walks to the park with them and talk with friends I made there. Anyways, I’d just like to say: thank you so much. You brought back meaning to my life. And that’s all that matters.


Robert (P.S, I think it’s time for you to mow the lawn, haha!)

Via: Reddit.

It reminds me of what Derek Sivers writes about putting your fans to work, because they might be looking for a chance to help:

People who reach out like that are looking for a better mission — a connection to your world. You might be the coolest thing that ever happened to a teenager going through an unpopular phase. You might help someone start a new life after a break-up. You can provide some exciting variety to their boring routines.

In a cynical world, it’s nice to remember that it’s okay to ask for help. The person you’re asking might need it just as much as you do. 

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