What could you accomplish for yourself or for the world if you were to call upon the generosity of friends? Your request just might be the gift they were waiting for.
I am blessed to live in a small community where neighbors help one another. The notion that “it takes a village” to accomplish tasks is often literally true for us. So when I found myself agreeing to temporarily house and re-home a rescued Siberian Husky recently, I had to call in the villagers.
Young Huskies are a handful, and as a team we were able to care for, feed and exercise this needy one, while arranging for air transportation (no small feat in Arizona during the summer) to his forever home in North Carolina.
If I were to list out all the things friends and neighbors did to help, it would exceed the maximum length of this post. We had helpers from the neighborhood as well as from other states. Those closest to the action would say that the whole exercise gave them an opportunity to break from their routines, slow down, get some exercise – and laugh.
The experience made me think about all the give and take that is contained in friendship. It reminded me of the comfortable latitude we have to push up against others’ limits, while at the same time being open to an answer of “no.” Most of all, it illustrated a simple and powerful but often forgotten principle: when we give, we get.
My lesson in this? If you want or need something done, ask for help! I’ve written about this before, and probably will continue to learn this lesson until the day I die. Over the years I have relaxed my quid pro quo stance, no longer feeling the need to reciprocate an equal kindness to the precise person showing one to me. Oh, I must balance the scales and certainly give back when I get something for myself, but it’s not a one-for-one transaction. I truly believe that what we sow, we reap. Those who help me get a return on their effort, from me or some other source. It’s just the way it works.
Next time you ask for help (or even hesitate to do so), remind yourself that you’re offering the other person the opportunity to fulfill their own drive for generosity – a true win-win arrangement.
Andrea Chilcote is an executive coach, leadership development expert and author of Erik’s Hope: The Leash that Led Me to Freedom, a fictional account based on her life’s transformational journey. www.EriksHope.com
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