Friday, November 12, 2010

Hard lesson

Thursday, I had my leg elevated, with an ice pack sitting on it. It looked better than it did the day before, but it certainly was far from healed.

My son-in-law stopped in for a visit. He offered to move some of my firewood under cover. That's what I was doing when I banged the heck out of my leg. My first reaction was to tell him not to bother. The job could wait until the leg got better. Then I shook my head and remembered a hard learned lesson. It's fine to accept help from others. I told him that would be great and thanks.

I've never had any problem helping others, but receiving help was always difficult. My parents raised me to be self-reliant. That's a good trait, but no one person can do everything. They also taught me generosity. Giving feels good. Never had any problem with giving of my time, talents or material goods.

How to receive, on the other hand, was a hard learned lesson. It happened some time after I'd been injured on the job as Firefighter. Recovery was long and hard. Money was tight. Some people avoided me. You learn who your friends are when you are down and out. Others offered help. Tough as things were, it was difficult to accept help. Finally, someone told me something important. Remember how good it feels to help someone? Let other people help you so they can feel good too.

No matter how prepared for disaster someone is, no one can be prepared for everything. We need other people. I thought I was pretty well prepared before I got injured. It was four years before I received my disability pension. The first year was easy. My vehicles were paid off, debts were few, and I had a year's worth of supplemental income insurance. Year two, the insurance ran out, car repairs added up, and we began to fall behind. By year four, we were just days away from losing the house but then I won my case and we were able to pay back taxes.

Friends and family helped a lot. In the beginning, my food pantry was pretty well stocked, but few have enough food to feed a family for four years. Mormon friends dipped into their own food storage to help me out. I'm not even Mormon. One friend even gave me his truck -perfectly maintained without a spot of rust on it.

As desperate as I was, it took me a while to learn to accept the good works of others. Turns out all they need is thanks.

Thanks everyone, for all the help you've given me though the years.



  1. I don't like taking help from others if I can avoid it. But I don't look a gift horse in the mouth either. We were put here to help each other out, but too many have lost that inclination, and I blame the government and their theft of our livelihoods for that. Help was never meant to be one's bread and butter, but politicians have used it as a tool to secure their power, which has left a lot of folks, myself included, with a bad taste in their mouth, and a sore ass...

  2. I understand exactly what you are saying. I can't stand to be in a situration where I need help. Thankfully there have been few of them.