Sometimes we all need help. Everyone falls into that boat at one time or another. As the old Barbara Streisand song says:
“People who need people are the luckiest people in the world…”
(I hope I have that quoted correctly.)
Over the past few months, numerous folks have requested and provided help here on ManyRoads. In order to be responsive, I have organized and published ways in which I am able to help; and sadly, I have also had to state ways in which I am unable to accommodate or have had to limit requested assistance.
Here are some of the approaches and offers I have officially made. Most of these ‘standard’ approaches have grown out of informal arrangements I have been fortunate to establish with generous people discovered through the ManyRoads site and my related genealogical endeavors.
- Pay It Forward – for some reason this most obvious of arrangements has taken me the longest to articulate.
- Limited free consulting – similar to the Quid pro quo, but limited in time and established without any requirement for formally arranged reciprocation.
- Informal – this arrangement does not really fit into any definable category but rather is something that evolves through longer term interpersonal communications. I have numerous relationships that fit into this category; and, they are simply friendships. Some are with new found relatives, some with new found friends. To me, these are extremely joyful arrangements.
So why the discourse, then? Well, I think it is essential that people who meet others doing genealogy on the web via social media, etc. recognize and acknowledge that all involved parties are people with needs, constraints and limitations. Each party whether engaging through a formal or informal arrangement has the duty to express their wishes, aspirations and ‘needs’. Sometimes these associations and relationships work out and become long term; sometimes not. No matter the result, I think there are some ‘common’ courtesies (?) worthy of mention:
- Prompt acknowledgement of any communication. Let the other person know what you are thinking. Talk personally, privately and promptly.
- Publicly or privately recognize any effort taken in your behalf. A simple thank, you will often suffice.
- Be aware no matter how small the effort, it is being made on your behalf. The effort is a gift and deserves to be appropriately acknowledged.
As always, the golden rule applies.
Treat others as you would like to be treated.