Ask, Act, Achieve
This might sound simple and easy for some, but it´s always a good reminder to hear these words in the order they should come in. It´s no coincidence, or random order, in which I have listed these three “A” words above. They are, in fact, in that order for a reason.
In the bible, Jesus would often stop what He was doing, or where He was going to ask people their opinion, their current situation and what they wanted. This happened in many contexts, from sitting down and having conversations with His disciples and/or the high priests to walking through to another city and coming across a disabled person lying on the floor or a man who had climbed up a tree. To Jesus, it didn´t matter the person´s status, age, race, gender or religion. He didn´t only invest His time in preaching and carrying out miracles, He spent His time with people and for people. He took the time to not only ask them questions but also to listen to their responses and opinions.
Even though Jesus knew the situation, He would always ASK. Instead of just acting and doing what He thought was best, He wanted it to come from the person first. Then He would provide the miracle, the teaching, the prayer and/or the food.
By asking then putting it into action He was giving the person a voice and letting them express their opinion. In doing so, He then achieved the mission of spreading the love of God and making disciples. We should all follow Jesus´ example by living out these simple words in the best way possible. ASK, then ACT, subsequently ACHIEVE. If we mix the order up, we will not achieve the ultimate goal, we will not be doing the right thing and we will not be giving people a voice. This will lead to injustice and goes back to taking people´s freedom away. Don´t we all have a right to share our opinion or to suggest things about our own lives? Rather than have people make decisions for us, acting only on their own intuition and presumptions.
Therefore, when it comes to supporting someone (with additional needs or not), or trying to help them in whatever situation they may find themselves, first ASK. Ask what they would like you to do, ask how you can help, ask what is needed, ask them to explain the situation to you, ask how you can be of service. Give them a voice, then ACT. Act by doing the best you can for them. But by asking first, you understand how to better support them and you will not be wasting your time and energy or theirs.
By doing this, you will achieve the goal of loving them the best way you could ever imagine. “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). You wouldn´t like people doing things for you that you don´t wish for, or people saying things on your behalf without being consulted first, for that reason ASK, ACT, ACHIEVE.