Asking for help shows the courage of not being seen as helpless. Not asking for help displays the weakness of pride, and/or insecurity. They are not at all mutually exclusive.
The middle age man may buy a sporty red car out of a sense of inadequacy, yet also, to fulfill his high school dream mark of success, or both. Once he has it, he finds all the computer gadgetry overwhelming, but he is too proud, or too sensitive about his ignorance, to ask about it.
Let’s say he crashes the car into a concrete divide when he thinks he must figure out the high tech navigation system all himself. Do people die rather than ask for help? Although this is a dramatic example, not asking for assistance happens at least once in a lifetime to all of us, men, women, and even groups.
When we are too insecure, or too prideful, to ask others for their help, we deprive both ourselves, and the other person(s). We assume we know better than others. We think others will think less of us for not knowing it all. This is simple arrogance.
Human beings are social animals. We are so very often told we need to be strong, independent, and self sufficient, we begin to learn we are inadequate unless we are masters of al things. We are constantly sold the message of our inadequacy and told to fill it by purchase of products that make us, (or we wish they did) seemingly invincible.
However, as social primates, we have core group needs that we have turned away from in our self inflicted alienation. Why does this happen? And if it does happen, why is it not a great thing to be completely self sufficient?
It happens because we have come to think, especially with the use of high tech hand held devices, the internet, and all other supportive machinery, that we have it, all. We can do it all, and we should not need others. We also learn, ironically, in the age of communication, to not communicate face to face with others as we once did. We come to think of our gadgets as having all the answers at our fingertips, and if we don’t master them, we have invested all our energy into all of it for naught!
Another thing that happens since we have lost the communal core of tribe, is that we tend to think having to ask means others will soon pester us when they want information.
Once complex rules of elder wisdom, group contemplation, and the “sounding board” council style of social intercourse, was common. Now, this is not so. We do not even know our neighbors by name, much less ask for their wisdom.
We are often too busy, for others, or so we come to believe. We have so much to get done to win the rat race, we forget that “exhausted rats with tons of rat toys” is not the only goal of life.
We deprive ourselves of the social interaction, the pleasantries, and the insights of other people. We far more often just gossip and or complain with other people. We seldom ask them their honest insights about anything.
There are many, many things going on in the world today that contribute to our alienation and isolation. Another factor is that we no longer wish to appreciate others, or have others appreciate us. In some places, to deny the opinions, hospitality, or expertise, of others is still seen as rude. Yet more and more, the western model of “independence” wins out over inter-dependence, which is more holistic and healthy for intricate systems.
Another factor, that displays this trait is our relationship with the external world.
A person who sees the world as here for human use will not be as compassionate and interactive as a person who sees the world as having a right to exist with or without people. And this difference makes people treat other people, as well as other living things differently too. We see ourselves and our technology, or now more than ever the sheer scale of our impact as managers of all other life forms. We don’t work for bees, cows, trees, and rivers. They work for us. Or so we think.
Take time this week to ask another person for help. You will be doing them a favor, and you will be doing yourself an even greater favor. Connecting to all others, people, places and things, is the secret to being a truly self sufficient person.