I have never been refused help by a stranger. Someday it might happen but that will only drop the percentage down to 99.99%. Whether it has been asking for help opening a door or reaching something from a high or low place, strangers are a big asset when out in the world.
I used to be afraid to ask strangers for help but this changed on day when I was out training with a friend of mine for an upcoming wheelchair tennis tournament. We were packing up and the hatch on the back of my minivan was not closing automatically like it was supposed to. We started trying to swing bungee cords up there to get the hooks to latch on so we could pull it down, but that was highly unsuccessful.
After several minutes of this two people going to play tennis walked by and my friend stopped them and said, “Hey could you help us pull down that hatch? It’s stuck.” Without hesitation one of the guys did it, made sure we didn’t need anything else, and was on his way with our gracious thanks.
What struck me about this incident was that my friend didn’t think twice about asking for help. At the time I might have tried several more times myself and hoped someone would see me struggling and offer help. People occasionally will offer if they see you struggling but it’s much more effective to ask strangers for help if you need it. You probably won’t be turned down and let’s face it, they probably feel better about themselves after they’ve helped you out.