Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just Ask

When I think of connecting with others in my community,  my first thought is often what I could be doing for them.  Of course, investing in my community means actually giving something to my community.  I can't just wait for others to do things for me, and expect that I'll make meaningful connections.  But, I think more than giving to others, living in community also means asking for help.

Do you ask for help when you need it?  Could you organize a trade with your next door neighbor to trade moving each others' lawns?  Do you ever ask a neighborhood parent or teenaged babysitter to watch your kids?    Do you freely offer hand me downs to neighbors and friends?  Would rather let your lawn die than ask someone across the street (who you barely know) to water your lawn while you are away?

When we first moved here, I knew I needed help.  We were new to the area, I was staying home with my girls for the first time, we had a newborn, and I had no idea how to get anywhere or what to do to entertain and engage my 3 young kids!   At the park, in the grocery store line, or whenever I saw one of my neighbors step out of their houses- I would approach them and ask, "do you have any recommendations for pediatricians? good prices on  groceries? great places to take the kids? etc?"   I would always share that we had just moved here and could use any help we could get.  It was stressful and humbling to have to approach people like that, but you know what? I met some of my dearest friends that way! And, the outpouring of generosity we received was such a blessing to us.

Asking for help can be so hard sometimes.  It means asking someone else to enter our lives.  It means admitting we aren't perfect and that we NEED others to really be at our best.  But don't rob others of the chance to receive and GIVE.  Invite others into your plans and projects and you might be surprised at how happy they are to be a part of something.

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