He approaches me from the back of the bus and motions to the bag on my shoulder, the tripod in my left hand, and the hefty camera case in my right. "Please, let me carry that for you."
We're headed in the same direction -- the same classroom, to be exact. This particular student of mine extends a polite greeting each morning and offers a thank you, professor at the conclusion of every class -- even the boring ones -- without fail. His college experience will be split in half this summer when he returns to his home country to fulfill a two-year mandatory military service, and then he'll return to complete his credits and graduate.
I'm so accustomed to doing things myself that I almost decline his offer, but I get my wits about me, accept, and gratefully hand over the bulky tripod. As we walk to class together I'm aware of how much lighter my load is when another person carries a portion of it for me.
Too often I shirk opportunities to let people help me, falling into my default responses. No, you don't need to bring anything. It's okay, I'll take care of it. Don't worry, I've got this covered.
It's much more graceful to accept help when help is needed.