#BlogElul – Ask
It’s ok. It’s OK to ask for help. I know, I know, this is Canada, and the vestiges of the puritan work ethic and the British avoidance of contact are so strong that we dread asking for help more than any other activity. I know at people who would prefer to clean the toilets, visit the dentist, spend hours on a homework question, fail a test, anything at all rather than ask for help. We must be independent, right? We have to do our own wonderful, mega-successful things and it’s our job to manage on our own. Asking for help is a sign of weakness, a sign that you took more on than you could handle, a sign that you didn’t plan well enough, that you’re not trying hard enough…
I’ve even heard this as argument against my belief in God. “You shouldn’t need some Other Being to inspire you or give you strength – you should do it yourself! Gods are just a weakness and only useful to people who can’t manage on their own.” (I find this hilarious. Since according to my beliefs, I am a part of God, as is everyone else, depending on myself vs. depending on God is like the difference between having a cookie and having an equal-sized piece of a really big cookie. It totally doesn’t matter.)
I find this a cold, hard place to be and to live from. It’s ick. It’s extra work for no good reason, it blocks off necessary sources of aid, it keeps one isolated, and it turns everything into a disability. Really, the only people who can get accommodations at school are people with disabilities. So, if I want to be a healthy together sort of person, I have to pretend I don’t need any help and I can do it all independently. No, no, no! Ask for help, people. Please?
Getting help makes a difference. It makes each of us faster, it gives us more capacity for accomplishment, it means that I don’t have to learn every profession, it avoids time wasting. On a spiritual level, it builds connection, it creates bridges, it forms loving relationships. Asking is the way we build that interdependent web of love and community that actually is the closest we can get to God stuff.
I like to ask. I ask for clarification, I ask for confirmation, I ask for knowledge and understanding of others, I ask for assistance and I ask to offer assistance. Asking is a tool we have that is sadly underused in this country. To all those out there spending hours trying to do something simple, I have a solution (especially if you’re a student in Ms. Lilliman’s class and you’ve tried that math question 15 times…) which you should try. Ask for help.