Monday, April 14, 2008

Help Comes

I was talking to my brother yesterday and he told me a sweet story the illuminates the concept of allowing help to present itself in times of need.

My brother was on his way to work when his car broke down unexpectedly on the freeway. He explained to me that in recent years he has learned to get less upset and stressed out about things that happen to him. Keeping in that vein, he decided to have his car towed to his place of employment and do the work he needed to get done. Once his work was finished, he planned to have the car towed to an auto shop, rent a car and go from there.

As he waited on the side of the road for the tow truck to arrive he was amazed at the number of people who stopped to offer assistance. It touched him deeply. Just him telling me about it helped restore a little of my faith in humanity. :)

When he got to work he proceeded with his duties. He works in a commercial vehicle sales facility. Some of the mechanics he works with heard about his problem, and offered to stay after work to take a look at his car and see if they could fix it. My brother was amazed at their generosity. These aren't fellows he knows very well. They are but casual aquaintances of his.

The guys looked at his car and diagnosed the problem as a bad fuel pump. They said if he bought a fuel pump right then they'd put it in for him. He was blown away! He got the pump, they installed it, and his vehicle was immediately restored to working order. These guys saved him hundreds of dollars in towing and repair fees!

My brother was really encouraged by their willingness to help him out. As we discussed the story, we reflected on the benefits of not freaking out and turning a small problem into a giant crisis. He remained calm and kept his work committments, even though it would have been easy to bail on his job so he could handle the unexpected problem with is car. By doing so, he was in a position where help was offered to him by the guys he works with. If he had towed his car directly to a shop, he would have spent a lot more money! He would have made it impossible for the 'help' to arrive in the way it did.

Of course, he didn't do all this deliberatly. There were greater forces at work, but he did 'his' part, which was to keep his committments (at work), remain calm, know that a solution would present itself and that he would be able to work it out.

Sometimes in my life, I handle things so fast, or so independently, that others don't have an opportunity to help me. Sometimes I feel very alone in my challenges. My brother's story helped me to see this pattern of jumping on it so fast that I eliminate the chance that someone might actually step in to offer me assistance. I'm quick to help others, but I usually don't expect others to help me.

My brother was deeply grateful to the people who stopped on the freeway... and to the guys who fixed his car. I bet it made all those people feel pretty darn good to help him out!

Believing that help is available is a challenge for many of us. We think we have to do everything ourselves. I invite all of us 'independent' types to open our minds to the possibility that help is always available if we open ourselves up to it.

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