Do What We Can

I’m half way through Goldfinch and feeling a little discouraged and sad about life. The husband calls it the Felicity effect in that when I was marathoning the show all I wanted to do was eat cereal.

The grouchiness made me search out Elder Holland’s recent conference talk called “Are We Not All Beggars?”. May I say that I am the worst at accepting help. Ask me for a ride ever? The answer will almost certainly be no. Help me with my groceries? ‘That’s okay, I got this’. Clean my house for me? Buy me dinner? ‘Um, why is my house dirty in this imaginary scenario’ and ‘that’s so sweet to offer, but no’.

I’d like to blame the majority on this personality trait on my mom who once refused a ride from a stranger after severely twisting her ankle and limping a mile back home. But the pride is all me, man. And in refusing to be the kind of person that needs help, I wonder how often I overlook opportunities to extend help.

This made me think of the absolutely amazing and kind folks in my life. These people have   an ease for kindness. They extend themselves without any kind of trumpet or flair. A couple of years ago, I was in a weird mood and saw my friend in the parking lot. I ranted to her for, like, twenty minutes and felt immediately better. The next day, I looked on my doorstep to see a bag of homemade cookies. I can not express how moved I was by that simple and sweet gesture.

I took a picture of it because I wanted to remember that on that day I was seen, that someone without any provocation whatsoever cared enough about me to tell me that they noticed me, that I wasn’t alone. Can I say if I’ve been that to someone? I hope I have.


One thought on “Do What We Can

  1. Bad Gifter says:

    I can’t even tell you how many times you’ve been that person for me. It feels a little stupid to be posting this here, but I’ve always been a little stupid. You are an amazing friend, and your acts of kindness have been legion.

    I don’t know if you remember a bazillion years ago when we were both working at a certain insurance company and my neck was killing me? You made me a CD in the hopes that it would ease my pain, and my reaction was essentially you on cookies, but with a little more crying when I was by myself. This is only one among a thousand kindnesses you’ve shown me, but it’s one of my favorites, and I smile every time I pull out that CD and read the inscription.

    So, yes, lame expressions of intense gratitude in a public forum, but you are totally that person for me, and I hope I’ve expressed that sentiment before now.


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