Throughout the month of march, in addition to new stories, we will be posting some of the timeless stories from our archives.
Question From a Reader:
My friend and her husband who were doing really well before, have been having a rough time financially for some months and she has had to cut down on a lot of her expenses just to stay out of debt until things get better. They still manage to keep their home together and go about their normal activities and she doesn’t go around complaining about it.
I noticed that she has started shopping from cheap shops that she would normally not go to before for herself and the kids. I know we all like quality things, so I figured that it must be killing her inside that she and her kids now wear inferior things. I called the attention of our other friends to it and we decided to gather some of our children’s high quality used clothes and toys to give her. Some of us also contributed some clothing items for her too (some used, some new but all really nice and expensive things).
We went to their house with excitement and presented them with the gifts but we were really disappointed at their reaction, they didn’t seem to be excited about it, the husband left after some minutes and didn’t come out of the room till we left. We haven’t seen any of those items on her or her kids. We all concluded that they are just being too proud for their own good, but every time I see her, I always think maybe there was an element of rudeness in what we did. I really don’t know.
Shola: When people are going through a rough time, the best way to help them is to be there for them the way they want you to be. The only way to know that is by asking. For all you know what she really needs may be for you to help her with the school runs when she is out chasing a job! It is always good to ask first, but hey! you did what you thought was good, stop beating yourself about it.
Chioma: I don’t think you guys were rude, I think she is a very proud person that doesn’t want to accept the fact that she doesn’t have money anymore. A beggar has no choice, she needs to learn how to swallow her pride and accept things from people, she needs it.
Dee: What type of friendship have you all shared with her before and after her financial crisis and how genuinely concerned have you all been to her before the donation? These things matter. I won’t have a problem taking these stuff from a good friend that I know will always have my back, but I will not appreciate it if it comes from someone that is not that close to me. I think taking clothes from people is a really intimate thing, and except I am in a do or die situation, which she clearly wasn’t, I won’t be so excited about it too.
Tosin: Sometimes we are so fast to throw pity parties for people because it makes us feel good about ourselves, perhaps making her a charity case makes you feel good about yourself and she saw right through it. Some people will rather wear their cheap stuff with their heads up high while they work hard to get what they want than to wear used expensive clothes from friends and be made a laughing stock forever. Everyone is entitled to some self pride.
What do you think?