You know it’s not going to be a good day when there is a ladder involved. I try to stay positive at my job, but some days are just harder than others. Take yesterday for example. I had to change ceiling tiles that had been stained and disintegrated from the defrosting air handler; which is a whole other story about a different terrible, horrible, rotten, no good day at work. I was pretty confident I could take care of the task without too much trouble. That was my first mistake. I removed the first tile only to get a poor woman’s microderm treatment from a face full of insulation. After calling my esthetician and canceling my next facial, I ascended the ladder with the fresh ceiling tile. I proceeded to wrestle with it for several minutes (34 to be exact, but who is counting?) I have a master’s degree and I can’t make a ceiling tile fit in its assigned spot! I tried another one, maybe the first one was just defective. I took the next tile down only to have a light fall from the ceiling and careen towards me. Yes I cursed. I dropped my plaster covered, light dodging head on the ladder and was about to launch into my “why does everything have to be so difficult” diatribe when I heard, “You look like you could use some help.” “Hot-Mc-Runner-Guy, you found me!!!” Well, not exactly, but still words that were music to my ears. I know it was just ceiling tiles, but at that moment I was in a pit and I couldn’t reach the ledge to pull myself up. My help came at just the right time to reach down, grab my hand and pull me up and out. Between the two of us, a butcher knife, and lots of dust and debris, the job was finished in about a quarter of the time it would have taken me to do alone; and without the tears and tantrums.
I can assure you if I hadn’t gotten help with the ceiling tiles, I would have left work frustrated, angry and discouraged. I would have stayed in my pit. But the help changed my entire day. You see, later that afternoon I got a call from a friend who received some very sad news about her mom. Because I was helped earlier in the day, I had the emotional energy to hopefully help her. I know myself well enough to know that had I not had the benefit of being helped, I would have allowed my circumstances to prevent me from being able to help anyone in return.
I have another friend that has been helping some children who have been removed from a very dysfunctional home. Her children are grown and out of the house, yet she has chosen to sacrifice her time to help the helpless. She had to say good bye to one of the children yesterday, as her role in that child’s life was changing. The young girl wrote a poem for her and I had the privilege of reading it today. As I read that poem, I realized the help my friend gave to that child not only changed her days, but her life. Forever. From disintegrating ceiling tiles to shattered lives; help is powerful. Whose day are you going to improve today? Whose pit will you reach down into and give a hand up? Whose life will you change forever?
None of us has gotten where we are solely by pulling ourselves up from our own bootstraps. We got here because somebody bent down and helped us.