Curbing your “stubborn independence”

At the Detroit Tigers game


Wow, what a whirlwind week it’s been. My family and I have just returned from a week in Detroit, Michigan where we celebrated the bar mitzvah of one of our cousins. In addition to all the party festivities, we took in a Detroit Tigers baseball game, and I was interviewed on Detroit Fox 2 News and had a book talk/signing co-sponsored by a local independent bookstore called Book Beat while we were there.

One of reasons I love speaking around the country is the opportunity to engage others in a dialogue about mitzvahs and the proactive way each of us can choose to do this.

Visiting with friends and family after the book signing

One of my favorite moments at Monday night’s book event was when the discussion turned to allowing someone to assist you. One of our cousins,  who’d attended that evening and has MS, mentioned that she is “stubbornly independent” but has realized that when she allows another to help her, she offers a chance for someone else to do a mitzvah on her behalf. I know I have spoken about this previously on the blog but she said it so eloquently and with such candor that it reminded me again that being on the receiving end of a mitzvah, while perhaps more difficult, does allow the flow of giving to continue.

Ironically, on the airplane ride home, we were deplaning in Portland and a mother with a baby on her hip, tried to jostle her suitcase out from the overhead bin. Two other passengers offered their assistance to help but she kept saying, “it’s really heavy but it’s okay I don’t need any help.” Her refusal for any assistance did make others nervous that she might pull the bag out and drop it on the babies head.

This mother’s “stubbornness” pushed the other passengers away when they were offering their assistance. Sometime we need to push away our pride and accept help and generosity from another, because when we do, we just might be making the giver’s day too!!

Be gracious and allow another to give to you, receiving that mitzvah with open arms.

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One thought on “Curbing your “stubborn independence””

  1. From your stubbornly independent mother: Perfect timing, Linda. I’m glad to receive your mitzvah with open arms! “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Should I get one of those buttons around my neck?

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