God grant me the grace
To be humble
When I give.
For I know how much
Of a person
It takes to Ask.
Maybe they took the wrong turn
Because of bad luck
Or because of misfortune.
Whenever I am in a position to give
Please grant me the grace
To Thank you
For the bounty
You bestowed upon me.
Everyone in the world, without exceptions, would like to be in a position to give. To be able to give, implies having more. The first thing that comes to the mind when we talk about having more is money. We want to give more money, more of the material resources to others. We want to be in a position to help others.
What about the other side. The receiving end. How difficult it is for anyone to be seen as benefiting from someone else. Most of us, would be uncomfortable doing the same. It is difficult to ask. To ask, is acknowledging that we need help. We are weak. We are not able to fulfill ourselves the particular need. It is looked upon by self and others as failure. That is inherent human nature.
We struggle to ask for help in deed or kind. We keep postponing. We keep hesitating. Most or all us must have had this feeling. We hesitate to ask even when we feel entitled. For example, how many of us, can ask for a raise in the job, even if we feel justified about the value we provide. We cringe. We mutter. Words come out in a jumble. The most eloquent of us will become incoherent. We do not want to be in this position if we can help it.
Imagine asking for help. For money, for a favor, for anything. Be it family, be it friends, be it the boss. “I hate to ask”, is what you can hear from every one. This feeling gets all the more amplified, when the person in question did not have to ask before.
It is seen as a blow to their self esteem. It could be because they could not manage well. It could be because the situation is out of their hands. Some situations in life can be described as “Force de Majeure”. They are unanticipated, unimagined situations. Rains failing a farmer is a classic example. It is in these situations that helplessness kicks in.
When we are approached for help. We do not know always, what the situation is. We might not always be in a position to help even if we want to. If we assume that the need is genuine and we are able to help, we should do with humility. God has been kind enough to shower the blessings so that we are in a position to help. We should always remember that it is very easy to gloat when in position of power. But to be humble and give with humility takes grace.
We should never try to hurt the self esteem of the receiving person. They could have been wrong. They could have miscalculated or taken unwanted risks. There could be any number of reasons they are in that position. At that point when they come asking, is not the time to point those out. Help or show them alternatives, if there is of any. But never comment at that time or give any advice.
Give advice later on if necessary.At the moment of helping, do not sting them with comments about how they could have averted the mishap. Or examples of others who faced the same situation and came out with flying colors. Being a little kind helps and trusting that they have done all they can in the circumstances.
There are always exceptions. There will be people who get used to taking help rather than working hard. Those situations are different and might need to be handled in a different way.
Last thing is to the extent possible, do not publicize the help. There is a saying that the left hand should not know what the right hand gives. Some situations warrant letting others know about the help given. But it should not be done only for the sake of gloating and getting brownie points for self.
Thank you God for all the good gifts.