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There Are Times When We Need To Let Others Help

© Catherine Ripplinger Fenwick

There are times in everyone's life when we need to let other people help. Painful illness and chronic disease can take its toll on the patient as well as the care giver. Even everyday living can become very demanding. We all have days when a hug, a kiss, a few kind words or a laugh will give us the lift we need. Some days we need a lot more.

Doing good deeds makes us feel better. Some of us get really excited about helping others. I heard a story about a Scout leader who tried to comfort a very distressed elderly woman who was swinging a cane at a young Boy Scout. "Please don't be upset," he told her. "The boy just thought that if taking you across the street is a good deed, taking you across a six - lane highway would be even better."

Some of us get so excited about helping others we forget to take care of ourselves. If you are a doer of good deeds, remember to take good care of yourself. Pace yourself and don't get run down. Get plenty of support and encouragement from your own network of friends and don't be afraid to ask for help. Let others experience the joy of doing a good deed for you.

Look for ways you can bring fun and laughter into your life. This will keep you going and it will have a positive affect on everyone around you. If you want to laugh a lot hang around with children. Even when their lives are threatened, children can maintain a sense of humour.

Erma Bombeck in her book about children living with cancer, I Want to Grow Hair, I Want to Grow Up, I Want to Go to Boise , tells us she discovered to her great delight, that children with cancer still play and laugh a lot. She found these children to be full of optimism, laughter and joy. When she told them she was surprised at their humour, one child said, "Would you be happier if we cried all the time?"

Yesterday I was talking to a friend who works full time doing Home Care Nursing with people who have AIDS. Most of her patients are near death. I asked her what she does to keep up her spirits. She said, " Number one, I love my job. Number two, dying people have a lot to give. Number three, death is not an ending; it is a beginning. I see myself as someone who helps others to meet death peacefully. I have a supportive network of family and friends who remind me that life is also for the living. And I laugh a lot. Laughter protects me from the wrong kinds of seriousness."

Allan Luks and Peggy Payne in their book, The Healing Power of Doing Good: The Health and Spiritual Benefits of Helping Others, tell us about the benefits people experience when they get involved in helping others. It makes us feel more fully alive. We feel good about having a purpose and doing something meaningful with our time. Helping others even has physiological benefits, like lower blood pressure and improved mental disposition.

Work toward balance and harmony in your life. Doers need to be receivers, too. The best relationships are those in which there is a give and take; each according to their own needs and capabilities. Remember that no one can be all things to all people. As a " doer of good deeds," do what you can, get help from others and leave the rest for somebody else. Give other people a chance to show what they're made of!

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