Asking is better than wishing

wishing-for-windI work part-time at a local library. Almost every day I witness a scene like this:

A child about 7 or 8 years old enters with a parent.

“Mommy (or Daddy), do they have books about (dinosaurs . . . Lego . . . dolphins . . .),” the child says.

“You’ll have to ask,” the parent replies.

The child slinks behind the parent’s leg. “You ask.”

“No, you go ahead,” the parent urges. “It’s okay. They won’t bite.”

The child peers out from behind the leg and faces the scary prospect of talking to an adult.

Last week a scenario exactly like that unfolded right beside me. As I worked I heard a young boy ask his father about a book. His father told him to ask me. The boy took some time to work up his nerve. He said:

“Do you have The Mysterious Benedict Society?

“Yes!” I said. “Right over here.” We walked together to pick up the book he wanted.

“See?” his father said. “Asking is better than wishing.”

The boy and his father left with the book and I went back to work thinking, What excellent life advice: Asking is better than wishing.

The rest of the afternoon I pondered, Have I been wishing for things without doing the asking? Could receiving those things be as simple as voicing the request?

Something to think about: Asking is better than wishing. 

11 thoughts on “Asking is better than wishing

  1. merrildsmith

    Simple and profound. Thank you.
    It’s similar to what I tell myself–that I can’t simply rant, I have to call my Senators and Representative–even though it make me so anxious.

    I love libraries! 🙂

  2. Phyllis Bohonis

    You are so right. Even if asking doesn’t give the positive response you wanted, at least you asked instead of spending the rest of your life wishing you had.

  3. roughwighting

    Okay, you are inspiring me multifold. First, the beginning of your post reminded me how shy I was as a child. My mom was extroverted and social and I clung to (behind) her skirts. I was always afraid to ‘ask’ or speak up. I didn’t discover my own courage and voice until I went away for college. Wishes became out loud asks which became action. This is such a wise phrase for all of us to remember even now as adults. I know I need the reminder every now and then. Asking is better than wishing.

  4. harulawordsthatserve

    What a wonderful post, and a phrase that will stick with me for a long time. I’m going to carry that around with me in the pocket of my heart…and remember to ask. I was actually much better at it when I was younger, and some truly wonderful things happened when I did ask. I discovered people really like to be asked, because, by and large, people like to help and they like to make ‘wishes’ come true! Blessings, Harula x


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