Aug 4, 2017

Unqualified to be helpful

In the early afternoon, one of the colleagues in the department asked me for some help on machine learning. I gave some advice and promised to get back to him with more information. Since I had some clues, I was confident of further help and naturally felt good.

A few hours later, a woman who I recently had got acquainted with called me and said she had to cancel the lunch next day. There was a quiver in her voice. While she tried to tell me the reason, I did not quite get it but learned only the fact that something terrible had happened to her. She hung up and I was left texting “Please let me know anything I can help you with. Please.” I knew that I was not close enough to be asked for any help in her emergency. The text message looked pointless and made me feel useless.

I must be prepared, think, and take actions in order to be helpful for those who I try to help.

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