A guy is walking down the street when he falls into a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.

He is down there for a while when a minister walks by. The guy says, “Hey, Reverend, can you help me”? The minister writes a prayer on a piece of paper, drops it in the hole and moves on.

Later, a doctor walks by. Our guy says, “Hey, doc, can you help me?” The doctor writes a prescription. Drops it in the hole and moves on.

Pretty soon a friend walks by. “Hey, Joe, it’s me. I’m down here in this hole. Can you help me out?”

The friend jumps into the hole.

“What did you do that for?” Says the guy. “Now, we’re both stuck down here!”

“Yeah,” says the friend, “but I’ve been here before and I know the way out.”

A hand out is what we get from the government, and there is too much of that. A hand up is what we get from a friend, and there is too little of that. Not because it’s not there, but because too often we are too hesitant to ask.

Ask for help. Ask for specific help. Ask what you can do in return.

A good friend doubles the joy and divides the pain.