life, philosophy

The Season of . . . Payment?

My doubts continue about the humanity of humanity. This also ties in with the season of “giving.”

So, let me ask a question.

If you were in need of some kind of help, something minor, like a listening ear, or perhaps you needed a ride because a car broke down, would you accept help? I mean, if a family member or friend offered you a ride to work and back for two days, while your car was in the shop, would you take them up on it? It could help you save money from getting a rental or using Uber. Or, would you turn it down because you wouldn’t want to be any trouble to anyone?

Personally, I believe it’s important to both give and receive. If we aren’t willing to receive, it blocks the flow of giving and caring energy.

Lately I’ve noticed people don’t know how to receive with grace. This is perplexing to me, so I’m doing my usual by digging deep and waxing philosophical.There could be several reasons why some turn down help when they could use it. They may not want to look weak, or they might think they’re being too much of a bother. The one I see most of the time is that the receiver doesn’t want to feel indebted to the giver . . . like they owe them something in return. For example, I’ve helped out with taking care of a dog or two when their owners couldn’t be there. I didn’t expect any kind of gift or payment. I was happy to do it. I did it because I cared, not only for those dogs, but for their owners who were my family and friends. Still, those dog owners felt the need to repay me. I understand that it’s their way of saying thank you, but I’d prefer we be each others’ support network. It’s much more valuable to me to know we can count on each other.I’ve had a couple things happen recently in my life, where I would’ve felt comforted if someone offered their help. I may or may not have accepted, but an offer would’ve felt like someone out there cared. To know I had a support system to fall back on if needed would’ve been helpful.

To be fair, I didn’t ask for help, but they knew what I was going through. If the roles were reversed, I wouldn’t need to be asked, I’d automatically offer my help.

I don’t mean to make this a complaint or a woe-is-me post, it’s more about my observations of humanity. I think this has contributed to the reason (among others) society is divided. Perhaps some church communities offer support systems, but what about family and friends? Payment may feel good for the person who received the help, but a support system for the giver is love being paid forward.

Giving without expectation, shows caring, but we can’t forget to receive with grace. Sometimes it’s okay to accept a helping hand, and then, if circumstances allow, help out the giver or someone else when they’re in need . . . pay it forward.

If we aren’t willing to give and receive help with our circle of friends, family and neighbors, how will we ever be able to live together in harmony?



13 thoughts on “The Season of . . . Payment?”

    1. After everything I wrote in this post, I have to be honest and say that I find it difficult to accept help as well. I think what I’d really like is just knowing I have a network of support if I was in dire need. When my husband had his accident, if someone offered their help then, I definitely would’ve accepted it. I was floundering.

      What happened recently, I knew I could get through without help, but it would’ve been nice if someone offered. It would give me comfort to know it was there if something worse happened.

      Thank you for being honest and sharing your thoughts, Andrea.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Now that I have a child I am so much more willing to accept help. We could not manage our household without the help of my in-laws. We help them too whenever they need us.

    Unfortunately I am witnessing the effects of not accepting help with my husband’s grandmother. She is very elderly and also not at all well. She is entitled to four drop-ins a day from a government caregiver. They can help with anything from making a meal to cleaning, bathing, lifting heavy things… whatever the elderly person needs. They come in and say “what can I help you with?” And every tome she says “nothing”. So they leave, because they are legally not allowed to force her as she is of sound mind and in her own home. She has also refused physical therapy. She won’t even accept much help from her son (my father-in-law) and daughter and so her health is suffering and she is deteriorating rapidly. Her pride is going to lead to an early grave.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the elderly were so used to being self-reliant, they don’t know how to accept help when they need it. My mother-in-law was the same way. She wanted to be the one to help her kids. She didn’t think it should be the other way around, but she needed help near the end and wouldn’t take it.

      it’s wonderful that you have that give-and-take with your in-laws.


  2. Great post, Lori. 🙂 The points you make are such good ones.
    I’ve been fortunate enough to have been the recipient of help when I’ve been low and have tried to be helpful to others when they are low. It’s not easy to accept help if you have been trained to be self-reliant (don’t be a burden!); I think that people sometimes just feel like failures or that they are “takers” if they accept someone else’s help (or the fruit of their labour).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lynette. I know I don’t like to be a “burden” either, and will rarely accept help. However, it would be nice to know that I had a back-up network just in case. Then again, there are people who will take advantage of help, and we have to be careful of those, too.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you’ve bugged our, Lori. Well, we don’t have one, but just last night I was talking to Derek about this very thing. My 93 year-old aunt is in a nursing home in Alabama. She periodically mentions how hungry she is because the food is so terrible. She loves The Outback, so I’ll order her dinner on days she’s extra hungry. We often debate over the issue. She feels guilty accepting the gift and I get frustrated because I don’t want her going hungry. I try to tell her that throughout her life she’s done so much for others, it’s time for her to sit back and receive. Since she can no longer do for others, it’s hard for her.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha, no I’m not Alexa, Jill. I don’t listen in on conversations. 😉

      It’s kind of you to help out your aunt. It makes me wonder if people who don’t want to accept help think they don’t deserve it. Sure sounds like your Aunt deserves it.

      On the other hand, it could go the other way where someone might take advantage of offers of help. I have run into that, so it’s important to know when to say “no” and when to say, “yes.” However, a kind thing like helping out your elderly Aunt with her favorite food once in a while is a kind gesture she deserves.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting post. When someone is specific when offering (like a ride for 2 days) I may take them up on it but I’ve been burned by the blanket “call me if you need me.” When I was having cancer treatments, several people said they would help out. I needed a ride one day (only one day because my husband had a one-day business trip) and was turned down by several before one person said yes. I didn’t ever ask those people for anything again although they are good friends. I also had a different experience with giving. My former neighbors traveled a lot and her kids weren’t living local at the time. She would ask me to water her plants which I did. It’s wasn’t a lot of trouble and I enjoyed it. Her kids moved back and although they were 20 minutes away, she would ask them instead of me who lived next door. One day I mentioned something about her back deck and she asked how I knew. I said I had seen it when I watered her plants. She had no memory of me helping her out even though I did it for 3 years! And this is why I prefer cats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Kate, I can totally relate to your comment. Like Anneli said, I wonder about the “human” in “humanity.”

      When my mom had heart surgery, and I came up from Florida to help, she had friends use that same blanket, “let me know if you need anything.” I tried to take one of her friends up on her offer, and learned she didn’t really mean it.

      It hurts me for you that people turned you down when you needed a ride for your treatment for just one time. I don’t understand why humans are like this, and it makes me sad.

      I did something similar for a neighbor when their daughter needed someone to pick her up from school a couple of times a week. Later on, I don’t think they even remembered that I had helped out.

      I can see why you prefer cats . . . for the same reason I prefer dogs. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re so right, Lori. Giving should be done without it being expected, but it is also good, I think, for the receiver to do something nice for the giver (maybe not just at that moment, but sometime later – or if it’s a passing stranger, a heartfelt “thank you” will do). It works best if a gift is given without being expected and comes from the heart. I think you find less of that in the bigger cities because people are more fearful and wary (and often, rightly so). Good thing we have Christmas to remind us to keep the “human” in “humanity.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anneli. When I was growing up, we knew all of our neighbors (as in my memoir) and helped out where we could. I miss that. I really don’t need payment for helping out. I’m not hired help. I’m a friend and/or a family member who does something out of love for them. I would hope they’d feel the same way for me, but perhaps my own expectations have been too high in that manner. 🤷‍♀️

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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