As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the power of asking.
When we ask, we choose what to ask for. We choose how to ask for it. We choose to let others know about our wants or needs.
I’ve had two experiences recently that brought this home again to me. The first was a request to a relative for babysitting assistance. Our church is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. One of the events is a renewal of vows for married couples in the parish on Valentine’s Day. I asked someone in my family to watch our children while my husband and I went to mass. I knew that it wouldn’t cost me anything to make the request. As it turned out, the person I asked already had other, very wonderful plans which I was happy to hear about, and she was receptive to babysitting in general. So, I may not have opened a door, but I opened a window.
Yesterday, I went to the bank to close a checking account. Long story short, we used this checking account to pay bills, but we switched all our bill payments to a different bank. Unfortunately, I missed one bill which engendered a $33 fee (ouch!) and then daily low balance fees of $5 (double ouch!) in the old checking account. When I talked to a bank employee yesterday, I explained what happened and asked if the low balance fees could be refunded. She said she would check on what could be done. Later in the day, I received a message that the fees would be refunded. If I hadn’t taken the risk of asking, we would be out $48. Now we’re still out $33, but my one minute request gave us back $15.