May 18, 2016

A Permission Slip Given to me by a Disabled Woman at Home Depot.

home depot cart

“What do you want?”

I’ve got a love/hate relationship with that question. I love it when I’ve got an answer, I hate it when I don’t. But for me, there’s another layer to this question.

There’s what I want and then there’s the invisible permission that I either give myself or don’t to have/ask for it (depending on the day of the week).

So, whenever I witness someone standing for what they want, I get excited and it seems to act as a permission slip for me.

Let me explain with a story about what happened last week.

I took a trip to Home Depot—trust me, it gets better.

I finished packing the car and as I was returning the cart when I heard:

“Would you take this back for me?”

I looked up and there was a much older woman clearly asking something of me. She wanted me to take her motorized cart back inside for her.

I didn’t even hesitate. “Sure.”

I didn’t say yes because I’m a “nice guy” (although I like to think I am at times). I didn’t say yes because It’s the “right thing to do.” I said yes because I could sense how clear she was in what she was asking for. I said yes because I recognize that the act of asking for what we want is one of the most courageous and vulnerable acts we can participate in.

My “yes” was available because she asked for what she wanted—without apology.

Ever notice what happens when someone asks you for something in an unapologetic way? When I feel this from someone, I generally want to support their cause.

So, to leave you with an opportunity here: what might you ask for right now? What would you be willing to courageously stand for?

I really love when others ask for what they want.

It’s moments like this that feel like a permission slip for me to continue to ask for what I want.

How about you?

P.S. If you’ve never rode one of those things at Home Depot, do yourself a favor next time and hop on—you don’t need to ask anyone.


Author: Joshua Barad

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Image: Grant Hollingworth/Flickr

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