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Yesterday I tried to help a friend. She had asked me for a favour but sadly it failed. You see, she needed a large framed picture to be picked up and brought back to the framers and since she doesn’t own a car, I am not even sure if she can drive, she asked me to help her out.

Of course I agreed and I went to pick her up, we first had lunch and then we tried to load the big square into my tiny, two doored golden car. Very quickly it became quite event that the frame was not going to fit in through the boot. The inside space would have been enough, but due to the curves around the edges the opening was about 1cm to small.

Next we wiggled the unwielding frame in through the passenger door and with a lot of careful pulling and delicate maneuvering we coaxed it in behind the seats. But we were left with two minor problems. She wouldn’t have been able to sit in the passenger seat and I wouldn’t have been able to drive.

As we tried to make the frame fit into the car a couple sitting out in the sun enjoying a chat and a snack started to make suggestions of how it might work. All to no success. Then a lone engineer, moleskin pad and coffee cup in hand, wandered over and suggested taking the rubber seal off my  door, not really knowing how to do this nor how to put it back on.

In the end we had to declare ourselves defeated and my friend called a taxi. When the big shiny four doored car arrived, with ease the driver put the frame on the back seat. It even had some wiggle room. Left standing on the curb beside my insufficient vehicle I watched my friend plus frame be ferried off into the sun, and I felt a little bit rejected and somewhat upset about my failed attempts at a favour.

But trying counts – right?

The pleasure we derive from doing favours is partly in the feeling it gives us that we are not altogether worthless. It is a pleasant surprise to ourselves.

Philosopher Eric Hoffer