About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Idea of the Favor Bank

“...the ‘Favor Bank’ concept, which asserts that the whole world is one giant ‘Favor Bank.’  We go through life making deposits whenever we do favors for people, and that means that whenever we need a favor, we’re entitled to a withdrawal.  It’s just as important to take out as it is to put in, because each time we accept a favor, we are allowing someone to make a deposit.  I like introducing this idea of people who have trouble ‘taking.’”
- the voice of Rita Golden Gelman in her memoir Tales of a Female Nomad

   I have a hard time asking for help.  I’m not entirely sure why, but I’ve got a few ideas -- I don’t want to be a burden, and I don’t want anyone to resent me for asking for help.  And then there are instances when I don’t feel like I should need to ask for help, that those around me should somehow just know what I need and step in and offer the help without me having to come out and ask for it.

   Asking for help means I’m not in control of the situation.  It means I’m incompetent, weak, vulnerable.  (At least in my opinion).  And none of those are good things to be.
   This scenario, of me finding it difficult to ask for help, is something I have discussed with my therapist.  And she suspects that it was probably difficult for me to ask for help even before my autoimmune disease.  Who remembers any more?  

   But last week I was reading Rita Golden Gelman’s memoir (actually it was a re-read, I originally read it many years ago) and came across the passage above.  From the entire three-hundred page book, this is the one passage that really struck a chord with me.   I have no problem doing favors for others.  Most times, I’m happy to.  But, when the situation is reversed, it’s not so easy for me.  But, maybe I can try to re-program my mind to look at the giving and taking of favors as necessary for both parties involved, and then maybe I’ll be more inclined to accept help.


  1. You are by far not incompetent or weak.You are dealing with a very painful medical condition,and you need all the help you can get.I will say I have always had a problem asking for help.Just always know daddy and I are here to help you in anyway we can.I love you and I am so proud of you.

  2. You are a strong person, but there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Your mother & I are proud of you.
    Love, dad

  3. Honey,
    You are an amazing woman! I know it can be hard to ask for help. Those times when we help each other are so important. I am here for you!
    I Love You!
    Love, me