It’s Selfish Not to Let People Help

True story coming at you here…No charge….Just another day in the life here at Casa De Saxman.

Just about every afternoon, I like to take a nap. Normally, it is a ten to fifteen minute power nap that simply reboots the hard drive. Occasionally, that reboot can take up to an hour.

Monday was about forty-five. Not that it matters.

After I woke up, I walked into the kitchen where our thirteen year old, Nora, was knocking out some homework and an after school snack. Nora has the emotional radar of an MRI and feels everyone’s emotions. It’s quite a gift, but as my Dad says “Assets are liabilities and liabilities are assets.”

This one is all asset.

This is how the conversation played out.

Nora – “Dad, what’s the matter with you?”

Me – “Nothing, I just woke up.”

Nora, “No Dad, something’s wrong. I can tell.”

Me – “Nora, nothing’s wrong. I’m fine.”

Nora – “See. I knew it.”

Me “I just woke up!”

Emotionally stunted as I am, my natural defensiveness grew. Jiminy crickets…what could I have possibly done wrong THIS time? I. Just. Woke. Up.

Nora, her mother, and I reviewed the tape of that this morning as we went through the morning before school ritual.

I asked her what she had seen that had I not.

Nora was brilliant in her analysis, “I think people are more real right after they wake up.”

Me – “Okay…”

Nora “You just looked kind of angry.”

Me – “Based on what?

Nora “The look on your face. Maybe you had a bad dream or something. But you definitely had a look on your face.”

I have the emotional memory of a chair so this is new ground for me and is CLEARLY a liability; however, this is real gift that Nora has and was genetically given to her by her mother, Michele.

Which brings me to Coach John Wooden’s principle, “Help Others”, that I have assigned for daily reflection on Wednesdays.

We all just LOVE to help other people, don’t we? It makes us feel better to help those in need, right?

It begs the question – Are we as good at letting people help us? Even in those moments when we think “No, I’m fine…”, are we unable or unwilling to let other help us? I know that this is an area in my life that I must improve.

By letting other people help us, in even the smallest events in our lives – like waking up from a nap, is it so awful to accept the talents, strengths, and gifts of those around us? God gave them those gifts for a reason. What makes it so daggone difficult to receive them? Selfishness?

A dear friend of mine, Steve Raupe, has a saying that sums it up nicely “None of us is as smart as the rest of us.”

In all that faces us on a daily basis, there is going to be someone who is, frankly, blessed with certain gifts that can really help us on our journey. Gifts are not just wrapped up with bows and decorative paper on birthdays, Christmas, and Easter. They are all around us just waiting to opened and received with joy and thanksgiving. It is better to give than receive, but it helps others to actually receive.

It’s selfish not to let people help, especially those whom we love and cherish so dearly.

Apparently, Nora was right. Something was wrong. I was being selfish and didn’t realize that she just was sharing her gift and I denied it.

She negotiated my plea bargain down to a Starbucks Friday morning before school.

Just need a way to thank Michele for showing me that gift. I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

I guess I need to open up my account down at Emotional Bank and Trust and make a withdrawal.

Or shoes. Shoes usually work.

But probably both are in order and long overdue.

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Chris Saxman

About Chris Saxman

Father of four, small business leader, retired politician, and Executive Committee member and former Chairman of an international trade association, Chris Saxman delivers strategy and insight as a political coach and keynote speaker. Contact Chris.

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