From the time we’re little we’re taught that it’s better to give than to receive! Trouble is that after a lifetime of that, you tend to feel a little guilty whenever you actually do receive something. Then, you find yourself not asking for help or worse yet, refusing help when you need it. It turns out that accepting help is so much harder than asking for it is even harder than that!
In this age of Trumpian ethics and lack of concern for others, it’s even harder to ask for help or accept any because it’s more and more common to hear things like “I’m not responsible for your problems” or worse yet having someone assume you’re pulling a scam or they just walk by altogether.
Here’s the pIain truth, there will come a time when all of us will need to accept help from others and yes, even ask for some help too. Ironically, it’s those who want to help the most who are least willing to accept it. Whether It’s ego or the failure to accept the situation, I don’t know. I do know that fear plays into it. Fear of taking from others, fear of not being worthy or maybe fear that we might be just the same as everyone else.
I had been going through some pretty serious health situations and was in general, felling pretty crumby. My son and daughter-in-law live in another town and have been absolutely amazing with their help. They however are there and I am here. In any case, my son Mason sent me a text referencing a tweet I had forwarded to him the day before from Henry Winkler. Winkler was talking about how much he was looking forward to an after Thanksgiving Turkey sandwich and some other fixings. My son, wanted me to know that in a couple of hours I would be getting a delivery with all the makings from that tweet! I cried as I attempted to tell him how much that meant to me. I knew how much it meant to him and I also knew how much it meant to me. Plus, as lousy as I had been feeling, I had almost nothing in the house to eat and Thanksgiving was a day away with grocery stores closed. I knew with every fiber of my being that I wanted to tell him to cancel the order but thank him anyway. I also knew I needed to grow up a bit. I needed to accept and appreciate his help and be a better father by asking for his help more when I truly needed it. In the last few years I’ve gotten better at this, today was an example I still have some work to do.
The simple truth is that it takes more guts to ask than to receive. That homeless vet asking for change is as strong as anyone you know. That elderly neighbor who can’t repay you for cutting the lawn or bringing dinner by is a rock. That disabled or chronic pain involved man or woman who takes the money you drop by to buy groceries or medications shows more bravery than you or they knew they had.
Allow yourself to accept help. Allow yourself to ask for help. Allow yourself to give what you can to others now knowing so much more than you ever could have guessed!
Maybe after we conquering this challenge, we’ll make it a much bigger priority to teach those who are little now, that while giving is a wonderful part of life, so is receiving gifts with gratitude, thankfulness and love. Maybe we’ll also teach them not only to learn to do things by themselves but to realize how very strong they are when they ask us for the help they really need.
Maybe that is the gift that is best given and received.