I've heard it said that when you help someone up a hill, you get that much closer to the top yourself. That's just a lovely side benefit of helping others when they face challenges, isn't it?
So many opportunities exist all around us to help others—whether it's actual, physical help (moving someone, taking meals to shut-ins, working at a soup kitchen) or whether it's encouragement and support as someone goes through a difficult stage of life (perhaps sending a card, making a phone call, paying a visit). We can all remember times when we have been on the receiving end of such help and support. We know how much our load was lightened in the process.
What we don't always think about is what a mutual "transaction" this can be. When we are on the receiving end, we sometimes feel extremely vulnerable. We don't always like how that feels. We don't like to be what we call beholden to others. However, by allowing them to help us, we give them an opportunity to feel good about helping. Someone else gets to feel needed and to get that much closer to the top of the hill, too!
No matter whether you're giving or receiving help up a hill, remember that both of those are important and contain gifts for giver and receiver.
Any hills to climb today?