WHILE HITCHHIKING BETWEEN PLACERVILLE AND South Lake Tahoe in 1985, my ride — who had just unsuccessfully offered a friendly beer — taught me a valuable lesson on which I still reflect constantly: “When you’re on the road, and someone wants to give you something, take it.”
People like to help. So much so, that when you refuse said help, they feel at least disappointed or, at worst, insulted. Whether it’s carrying something, taking something, getting ahead of them in line at the grocery store, or whatever, it makes a vital human connection between otherwise-strangers. We all like to feel needed; and when someone else implies that we’re not, it grouses us on a visceral level.
Here in Lower North America, we pay a good deal of lip-service to the Rugged Individual who’s admonished to “stand on your own two feet.” But that can get lonely after a while. When that loneliness-wall is breached, it feels good — both to the giver and receiver. And who wants to refrain from helping someone feel good?
So the next time you receive an offer of help, accept it with a cheery “Thank you.”. It’s the human thing to do.
Sometimes you might be offered something suspicious. My philosophy is to give a polite no thank you but I appreciate the offer. That way you’re not obligated to return the favor. Of course we come from different eras and ways of thinking. On the other hand, who can refuse a cold beer on a hot day?
So did you take the beer?
I had to — it was not only my favorite brand; it was a point of honor. 😉
Ha ha! Guess they weren’t enforcing open container laws in the boonies…