Thursday, September 24, 2009

Helping Her Was The Last Thing

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me?

--The Beatles

Be careful when you ask someone this question: "How are you doing?" It's potentially dangerous. Why? They might need your help.

Today was day 4 of my new job as the Community Relationship Manager at my company. I'm very important. I'm extremely busy. I'm making things happen. Then I screwed up. I asked a co-worker how they were doing? She said, "Mike, this has to be one of the worst weeks of my life. Can you lend an ear?" Crap. She wants me to listen. She wants me to stop for a moment and listen. What could be more important than day 4 of my new gig? I put the extremely selfish, self centered Mike Ellis aside and said, "Sure, I've got time to listen." Then she poured her heart out and began to cry.

Helping her was that last thing I wanted to do. Helping her was the most important thing I did today.

Help isn't always complicated. There are moments when helping is simply listening.


  1. Interesting point, about 3/4 of why my job works is that people get to come in and have someone who cares for them listen to them. What you did was a small version of work.......shame on you.

  2. Easier to just write a check sometimes, isn't it?

    Time is our most precious commodity. When we spend it on what really matters, we can be sure to have eternal treasure. "Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." (Galatians 6:7 NKJV)


    "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:38 NKJV)

    You're an encouragement, Mike.

  3. Mike, we ask, How are you doing?, not really expecting or wanting a real answer most of the time. I'm okay with this superficial exchange most of the time, as it is usually just a way to say hello.

    But when someone takes this as a real question, we need to try to take the time to listen. And time is such a precious commodity. As you say, it was the most important thing you did that day. You gave away something precious.

    We only have so many minutes on this earth. Are not the minutes we spend helping others the best minutes we spent?

  4. I'm doing fine, thanks!

    (great post!)