People here are Ronald McDonald House often guilt me with certain things…they’ll say “Who took my stroller!” and then nag me for letting someone walk off with their stroller which they’ve decided to leave out in the lobby by the door. They’ll say, “Can I get a new entertainment system to hold the VCR, DVD, TV etc… my son keeps pulling all of the components out of there… I need one with doors… do you think you have one of those in storage? Why not? Why can’t you get me one?” or “We’re going to need a bigger room that isn’t on the third floor” (while our house is totally full) or “Here is an envelope I want to mail… you have a stamp for me right… no? Why not? No stamps??? Jeez… I dunno what I’ll do… could you get some stamps for me?.” and so on. I think I’ve figure out why they do this. They think, “someone is giving me all of this free stuff… a cheap room in a nice house, free food all the time… it’s a really good living situation. And I need to keep it… so I need them (i.e. the helpers) to think that they owe it to me, and think that I have it bad here so that they keep up their end of the bargain.” It is a common occurrence in human behavior…
1. Get help
2. Get acclimated to being helped
3. Want the help to continue
4. Make the helpers feel like they owe you more help
But there is also something that results from this on the “giving” side of the equation. Because the helpers are only human too.
5. Helpers start to feel that the receivers don’t deserve the help at all
6. Helpers quit giving help.
Some people realize this beforehand and don’t give help at all. It’s a lose — lose situation half the time. Thank God that there are some people out there who are actually unconditionally thankful and that there are others who are willing to unconditionally help.