A friend wrote to me recently describing being in a financial jam, the result of a stroke of bad luck:
Someone has actually offered to create a Go Fund Me for me- though I am really struggling with my comfort with the whole idea. Even though I have contributed to many of them, it feels awkward to be the one asking for help… If you have words of wisdom to help allay my discomfort at accepting help, I would gratefully accept them.
What do I fear, when I ask for help? I fear ridicule. I fear “being a nuisance.” I fear rejection. I fear gossip about perceived reasons for my need. I fear being made other. I fear abandonment.
- When I ask for help, I am giving people an opportunity for a mitzvah.
- When I ask for help, I am giving someone an opportunity to “pay back” for help they have received.
- When I ask for help, I am modeling the act of asking for help, and making it easier for someone else to ask.
- When I ask for help, I am admitting that I am not God.
The truth is, if no one asked for help, it would make it hard for us to observe the mitzvot of tzedakah [charitable giving of funds] and gimilut hasidim [acts of kindness].
Someone reading this is thinking, “But what about the cheaters? What about the people who always have a hand out, asking for more?” I’ll deal with that in a future post.
Readers: How do you deal with asking for help? Is there anything that makes it easier for you to ask?