Got Help?

It is okay to need or offer help.

One day or another, on one question or another each of us needs assistance in finding the answers. Help sometimes comes in the form of knowing something the other person does not and sharing that knowledge. Other times, it is the ability to do something that another person cannot do for themselves.

Once again, we see significant weather phenomena, affecting our coastline. With wind and rain, and devastation to buildings and infrastructure, we see people in the middle of the storm bringing in their boats and going out to help people. We think those people and praise them for risking their own life and limb to save others.

Most of the time, help does not require anything quite so dramatic. Help is often two friends having a talk, sharing information, knowing that one would gladly give another a hand. Help is often someone just listening to another person and giving them a suggestion or two.

In many instances, the person being helped today may be giving the help tomorrow or the next day. After all, as the poets remind us, we are not islands, and we were never designed to live in solitude. Help and being helped is part of our inherited destiny. And, we should participate in that destiny when needed.

Giving Advice

There are times when it seems that everyone has advice about what you should be doing. Just because they do not know your circumstances or your needs, or how you perceive a situation, they are still there with what they believe is the way to fix your mistakes. I know I make my fair share of errors.  It just aggravates me when someone who only sees a small sliver of the concerns tries to force their solution into my life.   

This happens to everyone. And I have a secret for you, it’s also perpetrated by everyone. Yes, in one way or another, at one time or another, we all fall into the trap of thinking we know what’s best for someone else. And sometimes, we do this whether we mean to do it, or not.

If you find someone has taken you under their wing as their fix-it project for the week, thank the person kindly, take a quick check to make sure whether or not they are correct. And then move forward with what you know you need to do. Taking a few moments for a sanity check is always considered a viable action.

If the person giving you advice becomes aggressive in seeing suggestions implemented, your only real action is avoidance. You’re not saying they’re awful people. Because most people like this, including ourselves when we do it, are well-meaning. And yet, when push comes to shove, each and every one of us can back into the blunder of trying to force our way of doing things on someone else.

I do not wish to superimpose my thoughts into how you handle such offerings of this kind. I can only tell you what I strive to do in such situations. The first thing is to wait until asked to provide any ideas or comments. And secondly, when and if I am asked, I respond genuinely with care and understanding.

Thank you for reading the blog. I’ll write another one again on Monday.