“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.“― Kahlil Gibran
I have often heard it said that pride comes before the fall, and I must say that from my own personal experience, this statement is certainly true. One of the things I dislike most in life is having to reach out and ask for help. Even when I have needed it most, and I have incurred more heartache or hardships from not reaching out … still I refused to ask. How many times have you asked for help, and then felt ashamed for having to ask in the first place? Or worse, felt obligated because it is like a heavy burden of debt hanging over your head that you either can’t repay, or can’t live down. Swallow your pride occasionally, it’s not fattening.
“I have learnt that it is better to swallow my pride, it tastes far better than desperation and hopelessness.”
My fear of asking for help comes from my past experiences and I tend to forget that not only have I changed and grown, but so have the people in my life. In the past, my fear was driven by the fact that some people in my life made me feel judged and made me feel like a failure. I realise now that it is my own doing, I allowed myself to feel that way. Regardless of someone else’s opinions or judgements, I can only feel how I choose to feel, and my feelings shouldn’t be guided by my wounded pride. Needing help doesn’t make you a failure. 2 and a half Years ago I was retrenched, left with no income, and a child to support as a single parent. I was given an eviction notice with 24 hours to pay my rent and I didn’t know how I was going to pay for food. Eventually, I had no choice but to ask for assistance where I could. The first response was negative, the second was positive, and the response was a simple … “why didn’t you come to me sooner?”
“Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.” ― Thomas Jefferson
True friends never make you feel bad for turning to them in times of need, they feel privileged, trusted and happy to help. Sometimes our friends may not be able to help, but they are still there for you and will do all they can to make your journey an easier one. When a friend has turned to me, I have done everything I can and yet it still never felt like enough. I guess you can help circumstances but you can’t erase the pain of them. It is never easy watching those you care about most go through a tough time. Each person’s scars heal at different times, some take longer than others. The true secret to giving and receiving fully, is to do it from the heart.
“It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride.” ― John Ruskin
One of the things we need to remember when giving and receiving is to make sure that our heart is in the right place, and our intentions are pure. We should never look down on anyone who needs help, and likewise, we should never be ungrateful for help we receive. When you give, never keep a scorecard, never throw it in someone’s face or hold it against them as collateral. Friend or not, everyone needs a helping hand along the way, and more often than not, help comes from the most unlikely or unexpected place. Asking for help is a sign of strength, it is not a weakness.
“Learning to live on less pride has been a great investment in my future.” ― Katerina Stoykova Klemer
Doing good, makes you feel good, especially when it is anonymous and you know that you have made someone smile, possibly even taken away all their worries for a brief moment. Never reject the generosity or kindness that is extended to you by others, you would be denying them the gift of blessing your life, and in turn, giving them a blessing. Be a blessing to someone random today, even if it’s surprising them with a cup of coffee. You never know how big a small gesture can be to someone who needs it.
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” – Ronald Reagan
We all get by with a little help from our friends … So thank you my friends, each and every one of you. For being a part of my journey and making it that much easier, and a more valuable experience.