Way back in 2008, I started working in real estate. I was not a real estate agent, just some guy that took some classes on how to help people going through foreclosure. Before you think I was kicking people out of their homes, I would say about ninety percent of the people I worked with had already abandoned their homes. The house would have just sat there, vacant.
But for the people that called me up that were in their homes still, I would visit them. During my time with them, I would tell them all their options and ways to keep their homes for a few months or even more if they wanted to stay. My thought was to give people all the information, even if it wasn’t beneficial to me. Ultimately, they might refer me, or karma or something would take care of me later.
Of the few people I met at their homes, a few were on their way to a prison sentence, and some had checked out and had no clue what to do next. Usually, the place was a mess, and I learned to ignore my surroundings and focus on the person I was trying to help. To give them whatever dignity I could by not wrinkling my nose at a smell or casting judgment with my eyes at the mess around me.
One thing I did not consider, however, was whenever I would sit with someone at their dinner table, they would ask, “Would you like something to drink?”
I would always refuse.
However, on one occasion, I noticed a lady frown. I quickly pivoted and exclaimed that I would love a glass of water. She beamed with delight!
After she filled a questionably clean glass from the tap, I took a few sips, and we had a productive meeting.
There is a rapport builder in receiving and specifically receiving something from someone who didn’t have much to give at the time. Allowing her to give gave her the gentility she craved. She was down on her luck, but being able to host gave her back her honor.
Growing up, I wanted nothing more than independence, and it would be tough for me to ever ask anyone for help. I have set myself up so that I have not had to do so yet. So it is very easy, almost automatic, for me to refuse assistance.
I will take all the groceries in by myself without an afterthought.
But in this world, there are people with needs. Some people wonder why a loving God would allow them to suffer. You might already guess if there was any actual design to it all, it is so that people can have a reason to give.
In my experience, we were all given the desire to give to other people. To be of help and service to someone else. It doesn’t matter your “station”; people feel a need to help out other people.
Sometimes it’s accepting a grubby piece of candy from a homeless dude on the train. It might be someone pulling over to help change your tire when you have got it under control. Maybe you don’t eat the candy, but take it graciously. You can wash your hands later. Perhaps you thank someone for the assistance in changing the flat.
My main point is everyone feels the need to give. Sometimes you must recognize this for what it is and not rob them of that gift by refusing.