Need a Pencil…Take One of Mine…


I was raised…not to ask for things…from other people…thankfully…that didn’t apply to Mama…we could…and did…ask her for lots and lots…but…I digress…growing up…I would never have considered going to someone’s home…and asking for something to eat…

In fact…I would turn something down…if it were offered…even if I were hungry…of course…that didn’t count when spending the night away from home…I ate then…but…say I went to visit an aunt…for the afternoon…and…she asked if I wanted something…I’d say no…and…if Mama were there…and I said…yes…I’d get…that look…you know the one…

That practice…of not asking for…or accepting…what I want…has carried over into adult life…and…like many of you…I find it very difficult to do…

I don’t find it to be quite so difficult for today’s generation…I can be sitting at my desk at school…I’m a school nurse…eating lunch…and just as I’m about to put a bite of something in my mouth…a child will come in…and…ask…can I have that…

Now…I rarely comply with their request…something in my brain…alarms…with shared germs…allergic reactions…law suits…but…mostly…I’m hungry…and don’t want to give up my lunch…

They also come in…asking for pencils…pens…money…they get…pencils…pens…

But…it did get me to thinking…what’s best…to ask for nothing…even when you need it…or…to ask for everything…even if you could do it for yourself…

Of course…Bertha…gets involved in the contemplation…explaining…that neither is best…that it is truly…somewhere in the middle…that it has to do with…independence…dependence…interdependence…

She further said…that my being…stoic…really isn’t productive…in many cases…and…caused undue stress…and…made me work harder than I needed to at times…and…she’s right…but…I will say…even though if I come over for a quick visit…and you offer me something…I’ll probably say…no thank you…I am getting better about…asking for…and accepting help…when I really need it…

But…she did say…that…the children’s approach…of asking for any and everything…isn’t the best way…either…that…they are learning dependence…and…lack of responsibility…

Evidently…there’s a balance…between…giving and receiving…and…I need to do both…when I only give…I become a martyr…and…yes…I’ve played that role very well at times…when I only receive…I become detached…disconnected from my true being…I feel…entitled…

But…that in giving and receiving…freely…I become…open…vulnerable…strong…

It makes sense…so…now…I wonder…how much…doI need to receive…in order…to bring…handing out a pencil…into balance…today…hmmm…

Jane

2 thoughts on “Need a Pencil…Take One of Mine…

  1. Asking for help…or pencils…is an acquired trait. One that we all need to develop as we age (I know. I hate that word also), but sometimes can not avoid. That is when you find out who your true friends are, especially when you ask and they know you have no money to pay them…and they STILL come through for you!! Those you ask and say Yes, and then never show…going to start needing a delete button for them LOL!!!

    • You are right…thanks for sharing your insights, Arlene…Bertha is prompting me to do a sequel on this one…so be looking for it!

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