I don’t spend a lot of time doubting myself, but when I do, you can bet that I put myself through a rigorous question and answer session usually tedious enough to make me forget what it was I doubted.
Occasionally, though, I come across a truth I hadn’t noticed before, then take to my keyboard to tell the world what they most likely already know.
I aspire to be a peacekeeper, a giver, a helper, a fixer wherever I can. I cannot keep all the peace, I cannot give what I don’t have, I cannot help or fix when helping or fixing hinders forward progress (like a four-year-old putting on his own shoes). But when I see a unique opportunity to give my time, talent, resources, help, or advice, I jump on it and speed off.
Today, I fully understood for the first time in my life how easy it would be for me to give up on others.
It is quite one thing to throw a 20 into the offering plate every week and let the church take care of my contribution. It’s quite one thing to let a stranger with a full cart go in front of me and my 3 items at the store. It’s quite one thing to pick up an errant piece of trash on a public sidewalk and dispose of it. It’s quite one thing to gather up all my discards and donate them.
It’s quite another thing to have my generosity rejected by a man digging in the trash. It’s quite another thing to give up on a woman whose only desire was companionship because my time and patience ran out. It’s quite another thing to pour myself into building someone up and realize rather painfully how much they didn’t want it or need it. It’s quite another thing to let anxiety in new situations ruin everything.
I could continue to help others the easy way, but that is not my objective. I want the challenge, I crave the challenge.
It’s so plainly obvious why people quite helping others – it’s hard. Helping others is fraught with rejection and fear of the unknown, it tests character, and the “mind your own business” line in the sand is actually a poorly excavated gash in the landscape that frequently changes position.
No matter how much good I do, one negative experience has the power to invalidate every positive thing I’ve ever done. It would be so easy for me to give up right now, focus my attention on something new, and be perfectly content.
Except quitting for the sake of personal discomfort is not being true to my self.
I am not a quitter. I haven’t quite got the hang of helping others, but I cannot quit trying either.
Self – Dr. Seuss nailed this one, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better, it’s not,” and you’ve been chosen for this duty. You have the strength to try again and again with the full knowledge that it will never be easy for you. It is time to embrace the difficulty of the task of helping others and to keep pushing forward no matter how defeated and deflated you feel. This is your calling. Keep going!