"Oh no," I groaned aloud, "Kelly's going crazy for a walk, but I need to exercise."
"I'll walk her," offered my 14 year-old daughter.
"Sure," Emma shrugged. No big deal.
What an amazing development. I practically skipped out the door.
As I headed to the park, I thought about how often I get offers for help - from friends or relatives or complete strangers - and turn them down. I'm reluctant to ask for help too; like needing assistance makes me stupid or incompetent. I hate the idea of being a burden. Also, I'm a little shy.
I certainly don't judge people that way when they ask me for a favor or advice. I feel good that I can help out and flattered to be asked. And, like my daughter offering to walk the dog, most of the time it's no big deal.
In a month when I'm examining my habits, this is one I'd like to change. I can ask for help when I need it! I don't need to know everything. It's perfectly okay!
|Lovelace Park, Evanston IL|
I gave the guy a little smile as I marched by - kites are fun! Then it dawned on me how extraordinary it was that a grown man was at the park flying a kite all by himself. This is something I couldn't imagine doing myself. I spent my second lap wondering about the guy. Why was he flying this kite? Was it for the benefit of some kid I hadn't noticed? Was he mentally impaired? Was this his regular pastime or had he decided to give it a try for the hell of it?
On the third lap, it came to me. If I wanted to know about this man and his kite, I could simply stop and ask him about it. I could ASK. So I did.
"It's so cool that you're flying a kite!" I said brightly, because I've found that people are more receptive if you give them a sincere compliment first.
"Well, thank you," he said, clearly pleased that I'd noticed.
"I just have to ask, why are you doing it?"
"Oh, it was something I tried as a kid and could never do, and a year or so ago I thought that maybe I could give it another try," he said. "A lot of people don't know how to fly kites."
"They don't?" I asked.
"Nope. See, a kite can drop 100 feet in altitude just like that. You've got to know what to do to get it back up."
This gentleman (who was perfectly normal, by the way) then demonstrated the proper technique for getting a kite into climbing mode. His kite was admirably high. I asked him if he did this often.
"I come out here a fair bit," he said, modestly.
We both were quiet, watching the kite soar in the breeze while he gently tugged on its long string. "It gets kind of Zenlike after a while."
I could see that. I said good-bye, and as I walked on I felt lighter, uplifted - from both the kite and the conversation. I'm so glad I asked.
Do you have trouble asking for things or accepting help? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one. I ask you to please comment, below.