Mother Nature had plans that differed from my own this morning and made life a little more interesting than I’d expected. After getting up I headed out and fired up the snowblower (still incredibly thankful for that workhorse!). I then got ready for work as normal and headed out. The plow hadn’t gotten to our street yet, but I figured it wouldn’t be too bad. Unfortunately the plow had just gone down the main street and pushed a huge pile of snow across our street. Against my better judgement I hit the gas and promptly got stuck. I could only smile and laugh at myself as I could hear my Dad chuckling from above, shaking his head, and saying lovingly, “you dumbass…”
Fortunately for me our neighbor at the end of the road was snowblowing and offered to help. My pride wanted to say no, but I remembered a lesson from a mentor of mine that has stuck with me for years. “When someone offers to help, the answer is always yes.” Those words in my head I thanked him for the offer and took him up on it instead of digging snow with my feet and getting frustrated.
As we tried unsuccessfully to get my car unstuck another vehicle pulled over. Out of the driver’s seat popped a woman about the size of Becky and she was definitely dressed more for work than for helping me in the snow. There was a huge smile on her face as she asked, “I might not be much, but would you like some extra help?” Both my neighbor and I smiled as we said “definitely – thanks!!!” Next thing we knew we had the car backed right off the snow pile. I thanked her again as she headed out to work.
My neighbor then proceeded to use his snowblower to knock down the huge pile of snow left by the plow. As he plowed we were able to shoot the bull and get to know each other a little bit. Before I’d gotten eh car stuck I just knew him as the guy who moved into Whitney’s house. Now I know Neil as the neighbor who was willing to help me out in a pinch. I’m very thankful for his help and for getting to know him today.
With my car freed I headed up north slowly but surely to go to work. While I drove I couldn’t help but smile. How cool was it that I had a couple of people willing to help me out when I needed it? They took their most valuable resource (time) and shared it with me, a total stranger at the time. I also smiled bigger when I realized how thankful I was for the advice from my mentor. Had I not listened to that advice I’d still be happy knowing that people were willing to help… But then I thought of the smile on my face as I helped one of our neighbors by snowblowing his driveway without being asked today. There was a huge sense of pride and joy I felt in being able to make a gift of myself for my neighbor. In accepting the help from strangers they were able to feel that same pride and joy. No wonder they were smiling so big after helping me get my car unstuck.
In closing, I hope this lesson from my mentor sticks with everyone today. Just because we feel strong and independent doesn’t mean we should say no to help when it’s offered. If someone cares enough to offer help the answer is always yes. You’re helping them just as they’re helping you and you’ll both be full of joy afterwards.