“The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it, whether he’s got an abscess on his knee or in his soul.” ~ Rona Barrett …
Asking for help is typically not in our nature–many of us were brought up to believe that doing so is a sign of weakness. Some might even see it as below them, as something that they would never even consider. For my parents, neither of them had ever been taught to ask things of other people, and so they grew up themselves without learning the benefits of asking for help, they had to discover this on their own. In fact, many from my hometown–a small farming community–grew up with the understanding that they should work the land without complaint, sowing what they could and harvesting whatever it produced. Unfortunately, life has many ups and downs that we often times cannot foresee. And when we take on all of the responsibilities ourselves, and place all the expectations, consequences, and blame on ourselves, life can become too heavy of a load.
As a boy striking out into the waters of adulthood, I never quite realized just how damaging this tendency would be. And because of my stubborn independence, many of my transitory decisions were usually made with the thought of getting by on my own. It was not until several years later that I was finally able to see just how many opportunities my own inability to ask for help had cost me over the years. Fortunately, though, after I learned that there is no shame in asking for help when it is needed, life has been much more pleasant for me. In addition, being able to do so has not only presented me with many opportunities to grow and to learn, it has also allowed me to get to know others better and to develop a greater appreciation for their contributions to my life. And as long as I do not abuse the privilege of asking others for help, both they feel better and I feel better when they are able to give to me because I ask them for help or advice.
The truth is that in asking others for help, we express our humanity. And contrary to the notion that this is a sign of our weakness, it is actually a display of the strength of our character that recognizes that we cannot do everything all the time, and that the help, experience, and expertise of others may be necessary and better for us than simply stumbling along in what may be uncharted territory. Of course, we must remain aware of who we are asking for help–not someone who will hold it over our heads, but rather, someone who will genuinely help as a friend.
Do not be too proud to allow others to help you, or too stubborn to ask for it. If you should ever need any, ask for it and allow someone the opportunity to contribute to the beautiful mosaic of your life–they get the benefit of generosity, you get the benefit of gratitude, and both of you grow in friendship.
Take a moment to ask help from another today.
Questions to consider:
Why do some people find it so difficult to be able to ask for help from others?
How do you feel when someone else asks you for your help? If you feel good, can you make someone else feel that way by asking them for help?
From where does the myth come that asking for help is a sign of weakness? Do you believe in that myth?
For further thought:
“Keep in mind that part of growing up is learning how to deal with difficult issues, and the benefits can be great if you have the courage to ask for help. Human beings are not designed to go through life alone. No one has to bear the burden of the tough times all by themselves.” ~ Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Kimberly Kirberger, Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul