|Children are born with a desire to help.
Lately I've been thinking about service. Sometimes I think we value self-reliance so much that we think we need to be on death's door in order to be justified in receiving help. Yet, we have no problem offering help to others who are in non-dire circumstances. For some reason, we hold ourselves to different standards.
Why is it that we are unwilling to accept help? Sometimes it is because it takes effort. I know I have been guilty of saying, "Let me know if there is anything I can do for you." The offer is sincere but requires the person to tell me what they need. If there is one thing harder than accepting help, it is asking for help.
Recently, a friend offered to help me with the wedding open house. She did say she would do whatever I needed, but then she followed that by saying that she would agree to those tasks I might find too tedious to ask anyone to do. In other words, she was volunteering for the worst jobs! I knew her offer was sincere. She made it easy for me to invite her over for an afternoon of frosting cupcakes, and we had fun chatting while we worked.
Other friends helped me in other ways. I appreciated so much the question, "What can I do?" That implied that the person was really volunteering for service. I did decline some offers of help, but only because I really did have things under control at that point.
I'm going to try to remember to ask, "What can I do to help?" when extending an offer of service. And I'm going to try to be more willing to accept help when it is offered.
How about you? What are your ideas for giving and/or receiving service?
Thanks to volunteering friends!