As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
Yesterday I spoke to a group of visitors to my Kiwanis Club and shared with them how much I appreciated the support I have had from my Kiwanis friends over the years. Yesterday I also wrote in the Daily how much I treasured kind people. The warmth of the people I know has been the best part of my life.
The last few years my health has taken me out of commission on some occasions for an extended period of time. I am sure my recoveries have been aided by the many friends who offered me help if I needed it. I don’t think there is a greater winning combination than kindness coupled with caring. I have been blessed often by so many that I have learned that the best antidote for distress is that person standing with you offering their help. Not too long ago I received the following article written by Amy Klimek, it could have been written by many of you.
The 4 Most Powerful Words You Can Ask Someone
Both in life and in business, we experience individual struggles that cause us stress, frustration, anger, embarrassment and overall contribute to one of those “really bad days.” What’s worse is that because these struggles are uniquely our own, we often feel like we are completely alone when it comes to overcoming them. This brings me to the grand reveal of the four most powerful words we can ask someone today. And that is….
“How can I help?”
It’s deceptively simple and so obvious that it seems silly. When we see someone struggling or upset, we should ask how we can help. But, do we? I’ll be the first to admit I do not – at least not as often as I should. In 2015 I want that to change. I want to inspire you to also take the lead in transforming us back into a society who takes an interest in the health and well being of the people around us– not just an interest in their latest status update. Here is why this simple question is so powerful.
It forces us to let our guard down.
I know when I’m having a stressful day where I feel like my to-do list is a mile long and getting longer, I am too proud and too overwhelmed to stop and think of how someone else might help to lessen the load. From experience, when someone asks me “How can I help?” it’s such a welcome relief and feels just as good as a comforting hug.
It gives us a support system.
Asking this question is the most meaningful way in which you can express to someone that you’re there for them. It’s putting your money where your mouth is and actually offering to do something rather than simply saying “I’m here if you need something.” By asking, not telling, you’re ready to assume the risk that they could need you to do something time consuming or undesirable. But it also makes us feel like we have a partner in all of this mess – and sometimes that is the only thing we really need.
It’s not condescending or judgmental.
The question “How can I help?” is simple, but perfectly phrased. Compare it to “Do you need help?” This variation can come across like a judgment that the person needs help for whatever it is they are going through. Give them the immediate acceptance of acknowledging it’s okay to need help and skip right to offering your hand. Especially if it’s an issue of pride, you won’t help the situation by first making them admit to needing help.
It eliminates our excuse to act like a martyr.
Most importantly, being asked “How can I help?” eliminates the temptation for us to feel sorry for ourselves and muddle in our own misery. Having someone standing in front of us with a hand to lift us up is the best way to make us grab a hold of our boot straps and pull them up high. Being asked “What can I do to help?” is a powerful way to make us stop feeling all alone and like no one cares – because someone does!
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
Only for those who are old enough to remember, but fun for the younger ones who didn’t get the chance to experience it for themselves!) Remember when
- it took five minutes for the TV warm up?
- nearly everyone’s Mom was at home when the kids got home from school?
- when a quarter was a decent allowance?
- all your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done every day and wore high heels?
- you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time? And you didn’t pay for air? And, you got trading stamps to boot?
- they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed . . .and they did?
- stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger?
- When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited the student at home?
Basically we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn’t because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we survived because their love was greater than the threat.
Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were
Three old guys out walking.
First one says. “Windy isn’t it?”
Second one says, “No its Thursday”!!
Third one says. “So am I. Lets go get a beer”.
A true friend is one that lets his grass grow as tall as his neighbor’s.
An old rabbi is talking with one of his friends and says with a warm smile, “I gladdened seven hearts today.”
“Seven hearts?” asks the friend. “How did you do that?”
The rabbi strokes his beard and replies, “I performed three marriages.”
The friend looks at him quizzically. “Seven?” he asks. “I could understand six, but…”
“What do you think” says the rabbi, “that I do this for free?”
Best friends are the siblings God forgot to give us.
The boss returned from lunch in a good mood and called the whole staff in to listen to a couple of jokes he had picked up. Everybody but one girl laughed uproariously.
“What’s the matter?” grumbled the boss. “Haven’t you got a sense of humor?”
“I don’t have to laugh,” she said. “I’m leaving Friday.”
Worry is interest paid on trouble before it falls due.
William Ralph Inge
John came home from the office and found Jill sobbing convulsively. “I feel terrible,” she told him. “I was pressing your suit and I burned a big hole in the seat of your trousers.”
“Forget it,” consoled John. “Remember that I’ve got an extra pair of pants for that suit.”
“Yes, and it’s lucky you have,” said Jill, drying her eyes. “I used them to patch the hole.”
“I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I can’t change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.”
Charles de Lint
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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