We all at one time or another need a little help. Sometimes we need a lot of help. And when those moments come, it’s nice to know that we have a supportive network of friends and family members who can give us a hand if we need it.
But then there are those times when we convince ourselves that we need help and rely on favors from others. Our car won’t start—could you give us a ride? I left my glasses at the office—do you mind dropping them off? I’m running late—can I cut in line? Can I borrow this—again? I’ve got to leave work early—can you cover for me? Sure, once in a while those requests can be easily met. But have you noticed that some people lack all self-reliance and continue to ask these favors over and over again? Rather than finding another way, they take advantage of people, and when those people finally say no, they blame them for being unkind and selfish.
For example, if your car is in the shop and nobody can give you a ride—or you’ve exhausted all of your “favor credit”—wouldn’t it make sense to rent a car or take public transportation? If you constantly need to borrow, say, your co-worker’s stapler or your neighbor’s lawnmower, isn’t it time you bought one of your own? So many of us fail to think twice before we ask favors of people. Everything is an emergency; everything becomes someone else’s problems, rather than something we get through on our own.
One thing I’ve noticed on Facebook and Twitter is a trend of people—who are presumably online and able to use Google—asking common, easily searchable questions, such as: “Does anyone know what the weather is going to be like on Sunday?” or “What time does the Eagles game start?” Now, it’s one thing to ask for advice, but to be so lazy as to depend on others to feed you basic information that you could have easily found yourself shows a lack of civility! There is even a phrase, “Let me Google that for you,” which has been created as a response to this annoying behavior.
If I sound like I’m encouraging people to never do or ask favors, I’m not. If someone asks you a favor and you’re in a position to help, you should. But all of us who find ourselves in a bind should consider carefully if it is worth putting someone out, or are we just asking out of laziness and neediness? Have we exhausted this person’s good will? You should also be quick to repay favors, and thank people appropriately. Don’t take them for granted!