One word makes all the difference.
Last night I stopped by the market to pick up a couple of items. On the way to the car I saw an old man hanging on to the edge of his truck. In the bed was a walker. I said hi and was going to pass on by.
With my dad I had to learn the precarious balance between knowing when to help and knowing when to let him struggle. I'd get the sharp edge of his tongue if I messed up and it tends to make one want to err in the side of caution.
But passing him by just didn't seem the right thing to do.
So I asked, "Would you like help?"
He looked at me, looked at the ground and said, "Well, I suppose I wouldn't mind some."
He chuckled when I told him my dad called his walker a Cadillac.
Had it been my father and I had asked do you NEED help. He'da told me in no uncertain terms he did not NEED help. He'd LIKE your help, but he didn't NEED it.
Guess my dad taught me something after all.