One of the things most people aim for is increasing the amount of chessed they do. However, many people, such as your struly, have gotten ‘burned’ too many times when we do chassodim for other people.
The following are a few incidents that I experienced recently.
1. I offered to give a ride to someone’s children, as I was going away for Shabbos. First I offered to pick up the children on my way to the highway, but the people said they would drop the children off at my home. They arrived twenty five minutes after the time I had told them I was leaving. Rather than apologizing profusely, they said, “Oh, sorry. You know, buses come late too.” (I had to be at my destination on time to pick something up before the store would be closed.)
2. I lent an article of clothing to a friend of mine to wear at a chasunah. The garment was returned to me creased and soiled. (I thought it was obvious that if the garment got dirty, that they would have it dry-cleaned.)
3. I was going shopping and offered to pick something up for my friend from the store. I have still yet to receive payment for the item I bought for my friend. (It has been over four months!)
4. Countless times I have brought packages with me when I go away for Shabbos,
and somehow I always end up dropping off the item by the person’s home, rather than it being picked up from my home. (Ironically, this is actually better than the alternative, because whenever the people say that they’ll pick up the item from my home, I end up being tied down and they usually come much later than they said they would.)
5. My neighbor needed to go away and asked if I would be able to watch her two children for an hour. I readily agreed as we had done each other similar favors before. However, two consecutive times, she came back over an hour and a half later than she had told me, and I was stuck with her kids in my house, when I wanted to serve my children supper! She never apologized, but quickly thanked me for watching her kids
These stories are only the tip of the iceberg and most people can associate with one of them. Some people will say that I am too cynical, but many, I believe, have been in similar situations. Unfortunately, what happens all too often is that people decide that no longer will they allow others to take advantage of them. They are more hesitant to offer someone a ride, pick something up, or lend out clothing or other items.
People must be more cognizant of the fact that when a favor is being done for them, all that is expected is some common courtesy and decency.
Thank you for making this forum available for people to express their thoughts.
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