When you are in a real one

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Senior Member
Hello everyone,

From the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

Context: You can’t afford this

It was a powerful lesson in community for me: When you are in a real one, never, ever say to someone in need: “Call me if you need help.” If you want to help someone, just do it.

What does "When you are in a real one" mean?

Thank you.
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