Helping Friends - Paying it Forward

Helping Friends, Pink Garden Rose, Bee, Pollen, Chicago Botanic Gardens, Cindy Rippe, Summer Rose
Helping One Another - Rose from the Chicago Botanic Gardens June 2012 - ©CindyRippe2013
I took time to help a friend today with computer and digital photo editing.  She was so happy with what she learned and kept thanking me for helping her and most of all for being patient.  I told the story, once again, from 30 years ago when I was a young secretary at our church.  My job was to do the computer work (finances, labels, etc).  Now this was back in the days before Windows and the rest of the office work was still being done on electric typewriters.  I know I'm really aging myself but the story must be told.

The church Treasurer, Frank, was our computer expert.  It was a volunteer job and he was really good at it.  His background (and real job) as a VP in a bank made him our financial expert as well.  He taught me how to use the computer and the programs I needed for my job.  He was amazingly patient each time I called with a question.  "The screen is blank, the information disappeared, etc."  Once I actually understood what was happening the calls became less frequent but I'll never forget how he would quietly explain (I don't know how many times) how to fix or find something.  This was during his work hours too! 

With the introduction of Windows the world of computing became so much easier and I've enjoyed figuring out how to do so many things and use so many different programs. The interesting thing is that even though I still don't understand that much about computers I've found that I know a lot more than many!  It's easy to forget that as I struggle to figure out why I can't get something to work and then realize it was a simple error and easy to fix.  I had the opportunity to see Frank last month for the first time in many years.  I couldn't wait to tell him how much his help meant to me and that I haven't forgotten to pay it forward.  You can imagine that he was glad to hear it and surprised that I remembered. 

So, that's my story.  Thanks to Frank I've been paying it forward with patience all these years.  We spent over 4 hours today and I was just as happy as she was when she learned something new.   Now....if I could be as patient with some other areas of my life!  I'll keep trying though.

If there is any great secret of success in life, it lies in the ability to put yourself in the other person's place and to see things from his point of view - as well as your own.    Henry Ford

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