“Can I help you with that?”
“No, it’s OK. I got it.”
We live in a society built on pushing through, taking on a great many tasks and then somehow “managing” them on our own. I fully respect the value in doing something yourself, overcoming the struggle and knowing you can do it. I also fully respect that you don’t always have to go it alone.
Help can be hard to accept and harder to ask for. If this sentiment resonates with you, I offer you this: Asking for, and accepting, help can make the world a better place.
We all know the immense value of giving: Giving your time, your attention and your resources to someone is so valuable that we’ve devoted a whole season to it. However, giving doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There must be a person, a cause or a receiver to give to. If no one were to accept help, the act of giving would be impossible.
This thought sounds extreme, but on a day-to-day scale, when each offer of “can I help you with that?” is turned away, it can feel much harder for someone to share the gifts they have to offer.
Remember the last time you were able to help someone with something he or she needed? Holding a door for someone whose arms are full? Watching someone’s kids so they can rest? Answering a friend’s late-night text and reminding them to just breathe?
Remember that feeling of joyful expanse in your chest? The smile on your face?
The peaceful sense of satisfaction knowing that you made a difference? Think about it … let it well up in you now. Isn’t this feeling a gift unto itself? How lucky for you that someone allowed you to help them, for without that, you wouldn’t have this feeling. The world needs more of this—much more.
Many of us have been trained to feel guilty about accepting help, like it is somehow a failing. I assure you that it’s not. It’s the very thing that lets us function as a community.
The next time you find yourself feeling bad about requesting or accepting help, I encourage you to remember that you are allowing someone else to give one of the greatest gifts to you: the inner knowing that they made a difference. This gift will have more positive ripple effects in the world than you can imagine. Decide that you will feel grateful for help instead of guilty or ashamed. Know that saying yes to help now not only allows you to help others in the future but also gives permission for those all around you to get the help they need too.
There’s nothing like the feeling of being able to help someone in the way they needed.
I encourage you to not leave this gift out of this season of giving. We’ve all been well-trained to offer help; it’s time for us to practice accepting it.
Give it a try: “Can I help you with that?”
All together now: “Yes, please.”
Kate Gold writes from Thurmont. She is a mother of two children, Zephyr and Perrin (see story on page 10). Gold owns Wild Magic Lifestyle (wildmagiclifestyle.com), a small family-run shop of creatives, artists, game players, designers and book lovers.