I think most people like others to come to them for answers. When we’re asked to help someone, there’s an inner glow at knowing the person trusts us with a piece of their life. I know I enjoy it when someone asks questions of me (even if the questions are about my sanity) because the message to me is that the person thinks I might have some knowledge or credibility about a subject (as it happens, I’m a near-expert on insanity.)
That being noted, I’ve had a life-long issue with asking for help or favors. I guess I don’t want to seem weak or incompetent, but mostly, I don’t want to impose on others’ time. None of this makes sense, because I don’t view others’ requests of me as impositions and I certainly don’t find them weak incompetent. Double-standards live on.
An unintended benefit of my Cub Scout den leadership is that I have to ask for help. (Notice I used ‘benefit’ instead of ‘side-effect’. Side effects are the nausea, dizziness, headaches, cramping, seizures, blurred vision and possible death after taking some prescription medications. Forcing me to ask for help is a good thing.)
In the last few weeks, I’ve made several requests; some met with immediate support, others not so much.
One parent readily took on the task of planning our holiday gift project in which the boys will each make 2 gifts to take to a nursing home visit in December. A second request took a little more persistence before the parent not-so-willingly “volunteered” to be a backup website administrator for the Cub Scout Pack website. The response: “if it will get you off my back for the other things, I’ll do it.” Good enough. My work was done.
Feeling more competent at this asking for help thing, I emailed the Vice Mayor of our city to request some time for her to meet with the boys to discuss her job. I expected a brush off, so was quite pleased when two days later, the Vice Mayor’s assistant called to discuss dates and times. Next week, I will have the boys think of questions they would like to ask.
I’m not getting cocky with my newfound ability to ask for things. I am aware that one day, the answer will be “no” but I’m enjoying my ride on the “yes” train. I know that within the next two weeks, I will need to approach local businesses for support of the boys’ service project they have to plan and carry out. But I won’t be alone. There will be five neatly-dressed scouts and their parents prepared to do an equal share of begging asking.
Do you mind being asked for help? What about asking for help?
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”