Several years ago, there was a kind lady who called me to ask if I would need any help for Toro Nagashi. She offered me that she could volunteer some jobs such as assembling lanterns.
My answer should have been "yes." I should have asked her to come to help for even a small job. However in order to ask her to do, I thought I needed to set a date & time for her to come and I needed to leave some small jobs and some time of explanation. At that time, I felt it much easier for me to do all by myself at one time when I had time. After some thoughts, I said "No, thank you." After that, I realized I never received a phone call from her again.
The other day after the funeral, family of the deceased offered me to sweep and mop the floor. My answer was "yes." Many family members were still here for the talk-stories and they were actually willing to help. But our members insisted "No thank you" to them since our members have a custom to do cleaning on the next day morning. I don't know when it started but I truly realize this is one of the reasons why our temple membership couldn't grow big.
If we decline somebody's offer to help, it is very natural for them to think we won't need help. Then no matter how nicely and politely we decline, they won't offer help. The truth is our temple actually have many things to do and we defenitely need many help but because a few members and a minister customary do many things all by ourselves. In other words, we are not good at asking people to help.
This time, I truly truly realized what I can do by myself is very limited and in order to do a bigger job, I'd definitely need a help. I just recalled some impressive words by Mr. Konosuke Matsushita, a founder of Panasonic Group. He actually wrote many interesting essays and sayings and among them, he talked about the secret of success.
Mr. Konosuke Matsushita said his successful life was possible because he realized he was sickly and weak. And because he was sickly, naturally he needed to ask many other men to help him. Then he saw many men who were asked to help looked very happy and be responsible to do the jobs.
His words sound so true since I got to know the leader of a successful organization who is very good at asking people to do nicely. For a long time, I thought a good leader should do the most jobs. Now I think the one who can share most jobs with many other people can be a good leader.
In a sense, I am now standing on a turning point whether I should be satisfied with a small job without asking people or I should ask more people to help and then I could do a bigger project.