If Helped, Return the Favor when Asked

Few things in life irritate me. This is one that does.

Recently, Friend A asked Friend B for a minor favor – a favor most of us would have done without blinking an eye. Instead, Friend B selfishly voiced major complaints before finally agreeing to do it. I was beyond surprised that he didn’t freely and immediately say yes as Friend A helped him in a MAJOR way previously.

Without the help of Friend A, Friends B’s enormous task would have been much tougher and the outcome wouldn’t have been nearly as nice. He obviously didn’t appreciate what Friend A had done for him.

To put things in perspective without divulging their details, what Friend A was asking for was the equivalent of borrowing a car for one day while the major favor Friend B received from Friend A was equal to a car being loaned to him for six months.

I confronted Friend A and asked, “Why didn’t you mention what you did for him” as I knew that would enlighten his selfish act and make him act respectfully. Friend A wasn’t comfortable doing that.

My philosophy has always been:

If someone has helped you or been good to you in the past, you do everything in your power to help them when asked.  You might not be able to fulfil their need although the effort should always be made. 

You would be surprised how many times I’ve seen or heard of a person unwillingly to help someone who has helped them in the past.

Fortunately, I’ve only experienced it a few times. In those moments, I warmly and directly reminded the people what I had done for them in the past – kindnesses that usually required more effort than what I was asking for. After those conversations, I had no issues with the help I needed, including future requests.

The majority of people I’ve helped have bent over backwards to assist me when asked. And I have done the same for those who have been good to me or simply provided a helping hand to someone in need.  Helping one another is a beautiful thing and something that is essential to moving forward in our busy and often complex worlds. 

What I don’t mean to convey is that those you’ve helped owe you something. They don’t.  Helping people is what we should all do more freely and consistently.  But, when you ask for their help, they should be there with open arms.

One favor I needed (since I was asked for help) still touches my heart. A few years ago, I asked a friend in the USA for a favor – something that had to be done quickly.

The request was to deliver flowers to a woman who was visiting NYC for a cancer treatment. Another friend in Sweden was close to the woman (and her husband) yet had no way to have them delivered fast and inexpensively. He asked for my help because of my Manhattan connections.

I immediately got on the phone with my NYC pal and he sprang into action without hesitation; not only buying and delivering the roses but doing so with style and grace. The couple was touched that my friend in Sweden had thought of her and I was impressed by the eloquence of the delivery. I heard it was a lovely moment.

Helping people is what life should be about. Do it whenever and wherever you can. Even be pro-active sometimes by offering help before you are asked.

If someone has been good to you in the past or helped advance your being in life, don’t disrespect yourself or that person by NOT being open to assisting them if asked. It’s the right thing to do.

“People nevor forget that helping hand especially when times are tough” -- (Catherine Pulsifer)

Happy Gswede Sunday!

My son and friends excited before the summer circus in August!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For sure GP. It is all about helping each other. Each one teach one. It truly is amazing how selfish some people are or can be at times.

I am sure animals shake their heads at the human race most times. The world is a simple place and we humans sometimes make it complicated. Give a little, get a little.