Waiting on Winston

English: Sir Winston Churchill.
English: Sir Winston Churchill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I've been reading The Last Lion by William Manchester. It is a biography of Winston Churchill and a must-read for those who love history or understanding the lives of great men.

As I read about how “Sir Winston” was catered to by his maids, secretaries, butlers, valets, etc. it might be easy to look down on that as an excess. Manchester says that he never even drew a bath for himself. However, he used the time he gained – really, just about every bit of time in reading, polishing speeches, and writing as well as building relationships. He focused his time for where he could do the most good.

Is it OK to hire help?

While I don't want anyone to “draw my bath” or wait on me to the nth degree, I think that there are times when the “help” in doing things makes sense. For example, I have a wonderful young lady who has become my right arm over the past few years since I started writing extensively. Without her help with the loads of laundry, getting food on the table, and cleaning – I wouldn't be able to write at all. That six hours of help is literally the 6 hours a week I have to blog. I still do at least 10 loads of laundry a week and a 6 hour set of chores and errands on Saturdays that help my family run well the rest of the week. But that little bit of time, I believe, makes me more productive and (hopefully) helps me improve the lives of others.

I've just hired a very faithful, trustworthy student (she just graduated) to help me with my filing and email. She organized my files in four hours and I've spent days trying to do that. I don't think like that but she helped me so greatly.

There are those who look down upon me for getting any help. Others assume this means I have no housework at all or that somehow I'm shirking my responsibilities. However, for me, I ask myself how I'm using that time. Am I improving the lives of others? Am I improving the lives of my family? Am I fulfilling the mission for which I have been placed on this planet.

But I also wonder if there is yet another double standard eeking through the crevices of the comments I get. If my husband were a single Dad and responsible for all the cooking, cleaning, and home management, would anyone look down upon him for getting help 3 days a week?

Wowing your family!

When Sir Winston arrived home every day, he exclaimed “Wow!” to which his family would reply “Wow!” and run into his arms, to which he is reported to have often teared up. His own mother didn't really pay him attention until he was “old enough to become interesting” and spent her time in many dallyings with great men on both sides of the pond but Sir Winston wanted to pay attention to his family.

I want to as well. So, when I consider getting help for anything, I ask myself:

  • Can I afford it?
  • Will I directly use the time for a task that will make more money so I can afford it?
  • Is the person I want to help me trustworthy? Does this person “have my back?”
  • Is this something that my children should be doing instead?
  • Is this something that only I can or should do?

Winston Churchill is certainly one of the great men of history. I think history is the better for him having people around him help with running his household so he could focus on affairs of state.

I think that there are also times that it is ok to guiltlessly get help with tasks around the home.Some of you would look down upon Winston Churchill and the amount of catering he had done for him in his life, but when viewed in the grand context of his accomplishments, it is one of those things that is excusable. Yet, oftentimes we turn a leering eye in judgement of others who we think don't have problems, don't have to work as hard, or don't have to struggle like we do. The fact is, unless we can see into the heart, soul, mind, and pocketbook of the object of our judging eye, we cannot know what that person is really going through. I think women, in particular, are pretty hard on other women who “get help.”

Don't live your life for the approval of others

If you spend your life trying to somehow achieve some sort of friendly stasis with the world's attitude towards you, you're not a very smart person.

If you're doing anything and work very hard, you'll have those who look down upon you who want what you have by doing nothing.

Do your something and do it with everything you've got. Don't go on petty guilt trips for the decisions you make about how you spend your money that the petty people would like to send you on. As my Mom always says “If you go on a guilt trip, you have to pack your own bags.”

Thanks for stopping by for a bit of a random rambling today as I sit and ponder the life of a great man.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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