Monday, December 15, 2008

Do what you can

Our neighbour Linda who lost her husband in the summer has been getting a lot of support from family and neighbours. The kind of tea-and-sympathy support a woman needs (sorry if that sounds patronising, but you know what I mean) which is, in short, not the kind of support we're very good at.

We're more "grit your teeth and get on with it" kind of people, not given to navel contemplation, rerunning old conversations, or group therapy.

Which makes you feel kind of useless in a situation where that's the kind of help that's required. So it was with a mixture of relief and gratitude - having said at the time that she only had to ask if she wanted our help with anything - that we greeted her recent request for help on a more practical level. She's recently bought a new TV and had no idea how to put it all together. At last! Something I *can* do.

So we trotted off round there yesterday afternoon and, with a great deal of "help" from the kids (both indigenous and local), and also some slightly more practical help with the lifting from another neighbour, spent two or three hours assembling the stand, fitting the bracket, mounting the TV, cabling up and performing the final installation.

It reminded me of an old Spiritualist tenet. To do what you can. Don't worry about what you can't do, but if a chance arises to help in some way - however trivial it may seem - take it. Never underestimate the impact you can have on someone's life, even though to you it is the easiest of tasks. To us, it was only two hours out of our Sunday afternoon. Nothing at all. To Linda and the kids, it meant being able to settle down in front of their shiny new telly without having had to fork out the exorbitant installation charge from the supplier. It's a win-win! Smiles and cheers all round.


Blythe said...

Eeee Spiritualists are so wise, just like you :D xxxx

Digger said...

Steady on - lol - I might have a grey beard but that doesn't make me Odin.

Tvor said...

My mom finds it difficult to ask for help though very grateful that she has people she can call on. Nobody minds in the least, to help, she just doesn't like to ask, especially non-family.