Thursday, December 02, 2004

Giving and receiving.

Receiving is an art, especially for some people.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are the most generous and giving are usually the ones who never ask for help when they need it the most?

One of my best friends (who shall remain nameless here) and I had a discussion not long ago about giving and receiving. She needed help and I offered it--actually I forced it on her unawares--and she felt ashamed of needing help. "I'm the one who always gives the help," she told me. I told her that spurning help when you need it is like spitting in the giver's face and on their gift. "But I'm supposed to be the strong one, the one who helps," she said.

I know what she means. I feel the same way.

I have learned that it is a lot easier to give help than to receive it for some people, and I don't mean the people who are always waiting for a hand-out, who are always ready to tell you how much they want and how soon they want it, the parasites who infect society, but for those people who would rather grin and bear the problems than ask for help. They aren't comfortable owing someone else or asking for loans and it takes a major effort for them to even get the words out. If you offer help, they tell you they've got it and can manage on their own. This is a lesson that smacked me in the face yesterday.

Another friend, a wonderful and giving man, told me a story about a pilot who lost control of his F15E in a flat spin. His wing man told him to eject but the pilot said, "I got it. I got it." He fell like a meteor from 15,000 feet down toward the searing desert below. Regulations state that he was supposed to eject under 10,000 feet. His wing man radioed and begged him to eject. "I got it. I got it," he said. Evidently, the trainer sitting in the rear seat didn't believe him because he ejected at 72 feet above the ground. He didn't make it. The pilot rode the plane into the desert. He got it all right.

It's hard to admit you need help. It's so much easier to give your last dollar to a friend or someone in need than to say the words, "I need help," especially if you're not used to getting help when people close to you can see what you're going thru and ignore you. So you close your mouth, grit your teeth, and get thru the best way you know how, getting rid of prized possessions and making do with barely enough to get by just so you don't have to say those awful, bitter tasting words.

I've learned that not everyone is unwilling to help and that there are good people, decent and loving people, who would help you if you only say the words...and even when you don't say the words, but acknowledge that a problem exists.

So here is to all the wonderful people I know who reach out their hands, their hearts, and their wallets to help a friend in need. You know who you are. Blessings on you all and thank you for being there.

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