Monday, December 13, 2010

Ask Someone to Do You a Favor

It poured rain the other day as I walked Isaac to school. When we were about a block from the school, we caught up with a girl from his class whose grandmother was trying to hold an umbrella over her head while she slogged through the puddles.

"Dobar dan!" I said to them.

The grandma looked up and saw me and Isaac and her face lit up. She started talking really fast in Bosnian. I couldn't understand everything but I heard her say the words for "to go" and "with." After a second of incomprehension, I realized that she wanted me to take her granddaughter to school with us so she could turn around and go home. Yes! Yes! Yes!

It made me happy all afternoon to think about how she thought I was enough of a friend (or at least enough of a known quantity!)to take her sweet little girl to school for her.

I love Gretchen Rubin's blog, "The Happiness Project," and a post there makes exactly the same point: if you want to make a friend, ask someone to do something for you. Life lesson for me: if I want to make a new immigrant/an expatriate/a new move-in feel welcome, ask them to help me.

[Image from here. I only wish I could take photos like that.]

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