These days, I am on a serious roll. I had been posting in trickles earlier but now, it is as though if I don’t say what I have to say NOW, I’ll explode. Please, find time to read the comments on each post. They are most enlightening.
The underlying questions that inform this post are as follows : What is self respect? What is the difference between self respect and pride? Does not asking for help equal to pride or is it a function of self respect?
Growing up, I used to live under these principle:
-It’s better to starve than to ask for a grain of wheat.
-Living within your means is the way to go.
-If you cannot afford it, forget it.
-God will supply all your needs so if He has not supplied, it is not a need.
-As much as you can help it, AVOID asking for favours.
-The fact that you can easily do it for the person without thinking twice doesn’t mean that it is their principle too.
-NEVER think the next person thinks like you.
I could go on and on.
This affected me a lot and I suffered in silence where I could have easily asked and easily gotten help. I think I got this from two major sources:
1. My dad. My dad instilled in us the value of discipline. Whatever you need to be asking people for, you really can do without.
2. Being a Pisces, I tend to be very intuitive and expect the people around me to be too. If I have to be asking a guy I am dating, ‘oh let’s do this’, ‘take me out’, ‘call me’ etc, I probably would not do well at it. I expect you to know. Simples.
Well, as I grew older, I realized that unless you open your mouth, you will probably not get it. You do need to ask. Even God has explained to us in Matthew 7:7 which explains that a lot of times we need to be proactive, we need to ASK, we need to then SEEK, we sometimes need to even go as far as KNOCKING. So I started doing just that. Sometimes, if I need help with a task, I look at who I know has the capability and also the willingness to help and then I go for it. I usually am met with a, ‘Temi, how now. You don’t need to add all these ‘pleases’, that’s not an issue’. The first few I got relieved me. Wow, the principle does work! What I also do is make sure I am available for others to ‘use’. Sometimes, you find that you might never be able to help certain people who have helped you back, you might never be able to repay but what you can and should do is carry on the cycle of help-rendering. Find someone to assist. Despite being able to ask, I ensured I used this sparingly, like a joker, only when I absolutely needed to
I however admit I made an error a few weeks ago. I got comfortable.
There is this really nice lady who had been helping me with a particular task. She had helped me twice. She doesn’t do it herself but has someone to assist me. In my mind, I really did not think much of it ’cause frankly it was not an issue and I would gladly do it for anyone if I had the means (remember this grave mistake of thinking others think like you? Avoid it!) So I trotted off to her and asked, ‘please, can you…?’ The response I got was mind numbing and frankly I was heartbroken, I was shocked!!!
‘I was just being nice when I helped you and that does not mean you should now take it for granted. Please look for an alternative’
What? Lol. A person who actually finds it easy to ask for help would easily shrug it off and move on to the next person. But I absolutely could not. I was completely taken aback. I said ‘thank you’ and went away to think. I am a natural thinker even when there is nothing to think about, not to talk of when given a perfect topic, lol. I thought and thought and I am actually still thinking. Was I really taking her for granted by asking for help three times? She gave no clue that she was not pleased doing it and was merely ‘being nice’ so I thought nothing of asking again. But then I thought to myself, ‘how right is she!’. There are so many lessons I would like to share from my personal and I must be honest, bitter experience.
Number 1, I totally appreciate her forthrightness. Despite hurting me a lot, I knew she is a virtuous woman who meant absolutely no harm. Some others would have said no and made up a random, untrue excuse, others would have said yes and complained to other people about how I was bothering them. But she, looked me to my face and said no.
Number 2, despite the fact that in my heart of hearts, I had no such intentions to take her for granted, she made a fine point. I did something I never do. I got comfortable (NEVER get comfortable, always be watchful, careful, observant). First time I asked, she helped gladly. Instead of being cautious and self-respecting, I thought I had found a buddy buddy I can always call on each time that weekly task arises. Third time, she made it clear, she was displeased.
Now, here is the lesson I have learned. No, I won’t be childish and go back to my days of never asking even if it is killing me. I know now that as much as you can DIY, please DIY. Ask, it is ok but first see that you absolutely have no choice in the world. Also, don’t take random liberties. The fact that the person you asked for assistance the first time does not complain does not mean you should make it a weekly affair (like me lol 🙂 ). In this case, it would not be because of pride you won’t ask, it would be because of propriety and self respect.
Try to be self-sufficient and look only to God and probably your immediate family and tightest of tightest friends or people whom you feel you have earned the right to ask a favour from. Not a new acquaintance.
God give us wisdom. Amen!
Have a beautiful Thursday guys,