Everyone Can Use a Bit of Help Once in a While

SnowDamageLast winter’s snowstorms played havoc with several of our garden shrubs. In the spring we cleared away broken branches and propped up damaged ones, and now that fall is under way we’re finally finishing the last of the pruning.

Help1It’s a big job but my DH does most of it on his own… except for some unsolicited help with the cleanup.

Our Lab’s assistance is given with enthusiasm. He grabs an available branch and joyfully races through the yard with it, discarding it in the allotted location, only to tear back for another one. The job gives him such pleasure!

Help2

There’s a lesson to be learned here. Human nature being what it is, we hate to admit we need help and are often reluctant to accept any. By refusing an offer of assistance, however, we deprive the other person of a gift – the gift of giving.

Allowing someone the opportunity to provide a service blesses him with a sense of usefulness, of purpose and participation. There is joy in giving just as there is in receiving.

Everyone needs a hand once in a while. As a writer, in what areas could you use a little help and who might benefit from being asked? Conversely, taking into account your level of writing expertise, how might you “pay it forward” to help other writers?

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9 thoughts on “Everyone Can Use a Bit of Help Once in a While

  1. joylene says:

    It’s the reason I’m not outside hauling the planters back to the greenhouse, they’re too darn heavy and I can’t find it in myself to ask for help. Silly me. But I’m not afraid to ask for help with my writing. Now what does that say about me? I think I care more for my craft than my gardens?

    One more good post, Carol. Thanks!

  2. JodyHedlund says:

    Oh, I love your tie in to writing today! (And of course looking at your dog doing the work is absolutely adorable!) It’s so true that we’re blessed when we help others. Often that joy is even greater than when we’re on the receiving end!

    • Thanks, Joylene and Jody. Maybe your hubby will eventually notice those planters himself, Joylene, and jump to move them without you even having to ask. 😀 Or is that overly optimistic?

      Both of you do a fair bit of ‘giving back’ with your helpful blog posts and encouraging comments. I know I certainly appreciate them.

  3. Carol Benedict says:

    I love your dog. Mine never learned how to be helpful. He just counts on being adored for his cuteness.

    I try to help other writers with questions they have about the technical aspects of writing. Even when I don’t know the answer immediately, I enjoy researching and finding the answers.

    My biggest weakness is in grasping the subtleties of writing fiction. My stories are plain and straightforward, possibly even boring to other people. I love reading mysteries and suspense, but my fingers are always typing romances and spiritual essays. I’d like to find someone to teach me how to think “suspiciously.”

    • Our dog thinks he’s pretty cute, too, but we enjoy his love of everything… food, people, food, toys, food, walks, food! He’s oral by nature of being a retriever, so we take advantage of that instinct and let him carry things because he likes to. That may be an analogy for you. If you always lean to writing romances and spiritual essays they may be your natural strength but you can apply the same story structure to other genre, too. Maybe you could try romantic suspense. 🙂 And BTW, I don’t think plain, straightforward stories are necessarily boring if the characters and setting are interesting and something worthwhile is accomplished. You may be too close to your work to judge their true appeal.

  4. JaxPop says:

    I’ve found that too much sun & salt water causes premature pruning. Crows feet at 53 – Time for Botox.

    Your post inspired me to do 2 things. Prune some shrubs & teach the cat to drag everything to a pile. Didn’t get too far w/ that.

    I’m THE WORST at asking for help. I never mind helping someone or doing favors, etc, but can’t remember the last time I asked for help (or even accepted an offer). Seems my favorite words are “I got it” – drives Deb nuts.

    Leaving again on another “road trip” – a month this time. Hopefully Nubber (the cat) has that pile cleaned up by the time we return.)

    • Dave, I recall previous mention of that cat and I’m wondering if he’s smarter than you are! I bet he’ll figure out a way to get you to clean up the pile before you figure out a way to make him do it. I also bet he’s smart enough to avoid water and thus never have to worry about Botox to counteract ‘pruning’. Enuff silliness! Have a good safe trip.

  5. Tricia says:

    I need help in seeing the forest through the trees and I believe that’s an issue with all writers. That’s where our help for each other comes to play.

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