If You Need Anything…

“If you need anything, just let me know…”

He never turned down the opportunity to say this to a family member, friend, or acquaintance in need – which was surprisingly more often than he cared to admit.

“Let me know if I can do anything.”

He would often say that, too.

Though the passing of a loved one was the most common use of the aforementioned phrases, opportunities presented themselves in all walks of life. He sometimes slipped and said it when it wasn’t even necessary or relevant. It had become that much of a habit.

But each time he muttered it, there was an underlying, dark little secret: he had no desire to do anything for anyone. Therefore, there was never any follow through. Like a social media slacktivist. And it was probably only a matter of time before he was exposed for being the fraud that he was. All it would take was one person to accept his offer. And then what?

Until then, he would continue to enjoy the satisfaction of offering a goodwill gesture that he knew had a low percentage chance of being agreed upon. The minimum output on his part made this a low risk, high reward situation.  How often does anyone actually take someone up on this offer?

Perhaps he should quit while he was ahead. But sure enough, the next time the opportunity presented itself, the words fell right out of his mouth:

“If you need anything, just let me know.”

And once again, he would get away with it, knowing deep down that the law of averages would eventually work against him.

It was his biggest fear.

But sometimes, you just want to make others feel good.

There is no greater feeling.