Monday, October 6, 2008

Stumbling Blocks

Welcome to Monday.

In June, 2007, I stepped down out of the tub wrong and broke a bone in my right foot. I was on crutches for months. During that time, I was unable to put any pressure on my foot. That meant I had to keep my foot suspended in it’s boot anytime I hobbled anywhere.

I had just started working for a company that was planning to move locations. The office I started working in first was a nightmare to get to. It was in an old business park where you had to walk down 34 (I counted) old, broken concrete stairs. There was no elevator.

I was able to get to and from work on the bus, which was a definite blessing.

When we moved offices, however, the bus stopped half a mile away. The building was nice – it even had an elevator. But the glass doors to get in both the lobby and my upstairs office, were heavy, and I often had to wait for someone to come along and let me in or out.

It was a frustrating time. There were many stumbling blocks that I needed help with.

A couple of coworkers really helped me a lot, but when they weren’t around, I had to really swallow my pride and ask. Leaning down to place my lunch in the under-counter refrigerator, for example, was really challenging. The floor was often slick, and my crutches threatened to slip out from under me.

I think one of the most uncomfortable things for me was knowing there were coworkers sitting not 5 feet away from me as they watched me struggle.

Maybe they didn’t help because they didn’t know me well. Maybe it was because they felt funny offering help. Maybe they thought that unless I fell, I was really okay.

I wasn’t. I really could have used some help.

I’m not sharing this so you’ll feel bad for me, nor for my old co-workers to get a first-class ticket for a guilt trip. I only share it as an illustration for this challenge.

Since that time, I’ve really tried to be aware of co-workers who struggle with crutches, disabilities and injuries.

And that’s your challenge for this week.

Think of the people you work with, or that you see on a daily basis. Are there any on crutches? Do any of the people you see depend on a cane? How about a wheelchair or walker?

Do they need help?
If you answered “no”, how do you know? Have you offered? Have you watched them struggle?

Can you offer?

Would you offer?

Would you let them know that they can call you, text you, email you or IM you if they need your help?

Do they need help getting around, to and from work?

Can you help them find that help if you can’t do it yourself?

I bet you can.

I know, because if you’re here reading, you already are interested in doing something nice for others.

And I appreciate that!

Find someone who is having a hard time getting around and help them.

Who knows? You might even learn something about them, and about your ability to make an impact on someone’s day.

As always, please share this with someone else today.



LdsNana-AskMormon said...

Another very thoughtful post...

A few years ago, at the beginning of the Seminary year, I broke my toe. I had to hobble around on those stupid crutches. Oh how I hated that!

I hated not being self-reliant. I certainly did not like being unable to be efficient. There were a few times, that my students would offer to help, and other times that they would just watch me as I "slowly" completed a task.

What I came to realize later, was that I needed to be much more humble, and ASK for the much needed help. I also know, that I could have been a much better teacher, if I would have insisted that my students, "served" their seminary teacher.

Sometimes, we can be, so very stubborn:-)


heartensoul4u said...

Thanks for the encouragement! I am caregiver to a disabled husband and I work in the Accessible Services Department of Sacramento Regional Transit. The disabled are people too! They simply want to be treated with the same courtesy and respect as others. Sympathy is NOT on top of their list of needs. It probably falls off the bottom for most of them.

It all goes back to the primary commandment - Love one another. If we can learn to love each other, friend and foe, able and disabled, as children of God - we will have kept the commandment.

Keep up the great work! I love your blog.

brookeaprilrain said...

How awesome is's really hard to be the one asking for help. Especially when all you want to do is be the one helping others. I know what it's like too to be in that situation, so when people need help I agree it's important to help them as much as possible.