I remember a time when several of us were in Grandmother's kitchen helping out with preparing the food for our family reunion and my aunt commented that I was not slicing the bananas like Grandmother does for the banana pudding. Why in the world does it matter? Because, according to my aunt, when you're helping someone you at least try to do it the way they like it done. Ok, got it.
Some may think that's overkill, that the person being helped should just appreciate someone wanting to help out but I tend to agree with my aunt. In my family, if you're going to help you do what needs to be done and you do it as close to the way the person you're helping does it. Especially if the person you're helping needs help because they can't do it anymore. They still enjoy watching you do it and I think it makes them feel a part of themselves is with you.
Do y'all recall a story about two boys helping their mother who was not feeling well? The mother needed them to do a few things for her- run an errand, complete a couple of chores-- nothing big but things helpful to her at that time. The older son ran off to run the errand while the younger one sat down to draw his mother a picture. He loved art and drawing and he was not a fan of chores ( who is?) I can't remember what, exactly, transpired when the boys returned to their mother's side, one with items from the errand and the other with a picture but it was something along the lines of the mother loving the picture but kindly explaining how that was not helping.
Was drawing a picture all the little boy was able to do? No. If that had been the case, the mother would have asked him to draw her a picture. It was what he decided his mother needed. And he decided it because he didn't want to do the chore.
I completely understand this mother's point of view. If we are going to help someone we need to know what it is they need us to do and that's the thing we should do for them. It's just not helping if we choose what to do for someone. It's like needing someone to wash the dishes while you're sick but they decide you need them to bring you chocolates. That's not helping. That's bringing someone a gift.
If we don't want to risk being asked to do something we don't want to do, we shouldn't bother asking what someone needs. Nor is ok for us to decide what the person needs. We have no idea what others need until they tell us and what they tell us is what we should do. Otherwise, it's just not helping.
I see this when people give to the less fortunate. Givers tend to give what they think the 'less fortunate' need instead of finding out what they really do need. This kind of giving is for making the givers feel good about themselves, not helping people who are down on their luck. These givers assume (there's that word) they know what others need based on their own lives, not on the lives of those who have less.
I know a lot of folks around here who have less and are way happier than people give them credit for being. The things they need aren't second-hand crap that needs to be disposed of instead of given to them. How is giving the clothing stain and tattered going to help anyone? Unless they need rags to clean with, it's not. It's not going to make them feel very good about themselves which may already be an issue.
When we offer to help, we need to keep our thoughts out of it. We ask and we do based on what is needed not what we want to do or give. If we have something in mind, that' s a gift and it's lovely but it's not helping. There is a difference.
What do y'all think about helping?
There's a special running through the month of April!
$10.00 OFF your purchase of $30.00 or more!