“i just feel so sorry for her.” those words just chap my butt – they really do – and i just now figured out why: feeling sorry for or pitying somebody holds them back. “i just feel so sorry for her” = “bless her heart. she just can’t do any better.”

now bring on empathy, and we’ve got ourselves a different ball of wax. empathy is a way of saying “i feel your pain” or “i know, sugar, i’ve been right there myself.” empathy supports. empathy props somebody up till they can push themselves off the couch and get on with it. pity stops em cold and mashes them down.

okay, now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s move on to giving and receiving . . .

if you’re like me, you’d rather have a root canal without anesthesia than ask for help. but you know, i’ve been rubik-cubing this around, and i’m sensing that while helping others can sure enough be a gift, asking for and accepting help can be a sure-enough gift, too. sometimes, it seems, the gift is in the taking, in the allowing others to experience the satisfaction and all the other fringe benefits of helping someone else.

short, sweet, and sassy, succulent and succinct are my little lightbulbs – my s’es – du jour.