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I agree with you that it is a shame that one who has specialized training in a particular area should be considered more valuable than one who has learned their expertise in a vocation such as motherhood. However, doctors and lawyers are always being asked for free advice. It is understandable that your neighbor's first reaction should be one of rejection. Understandable yes, right no. You are still her neighbor, and she may need your help one day.


I think this is a tricky one. Who DOESN'T have a question they could ask a doctor if they had one living close by? So, I can imagine them becoming very guarded about answering questions, assuming everyone is trying to take advantage, when realistically only a small percentage of people would do so.

Incidentally, I do have a recent example of a someone going out of their way to help others. One of my kitchen appliances broke and, frustrated at the professional consensus that it was going to cost hundreds of dollars to fix, I looked online for some info. I came across a whole discussion forum on this exact issue. One of the participants is a retired engineer, has worked out how to fix this particular applicance himself, and makes his instructions available by email to anyone who needs them. I requested the repair instructions, followed them, and the applicance is completely fixed! So, maybe the internet is a new haven for people willing to use their professional expertise to help others?


This is an interesting point, Beth. It is funny how some professions emphasize being "on the clock." I had a friend who was an ER doctor, and I was so grateful to her for the many times she helped our family free of charge. I'm not a physician, but if I were, I hope I'd be willing to do pro-bono advising on occasion.

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