A wonderful quote by the former president of The United States of America, Barrack Obama. Every one of us comes across such quotes online. Sometimes, it is said by famous people, or some other time, an anonymous writer makes us think by using such quotes. And yet, the hardest thing we find is to ask for help.
So, the next time that we are neck-deep in work, probably are even feeling a bit off-weather, we need to remember, asking for help is not acceptable. The pressure to perform, no matter what, maybe subtle, but it is there. We may feel like we have been pushed into the sea of life, chore after chore pulling us further down, but we must fight the sinking feeling, go against the wave, and come right out like the super-heroes we are meant to be. We just blindly accept this rule without questioning why and who expects us to be like this.
When a person appears to be strong.
We have all experienced this, or have at least seen somebody who has experienced this. There are a group of people in life who appear to have all of it together. They are efficient at their work, run a stable family, always seem to be on top of things, irrespective of the nature of the challenge. As soon as people sense their strength, they start hovering around them.
“They are so smart!”
“They can handle anything, no matter how big or small a problem!”
“Their spouses and children are so lucky to have them in life!”
It starts with them liking this attention. After all, who doesn’t like being admired and appreciated by everyone?
They begin to completely believe and accept the hype created around them. They begin to feel that they are invincible and that nothing can faze them. And if their spouse and children begin to look up to them for every little or big situation, they act as if it is nothing and it can be quickly solved by the super-parent.
The problems multiply.
To start with, the problems are actually pretty solvable. And as long as that’s the case, the parent can maintain their, “super” image, as they seem to fight battles after battles without even a flinch. But then, the very same problems begin to multiply, even as the parent’s strength starts diminishing from all the other battles that they have fought and won. On some level, they have forgotten that they are just humans, and not super-anything. The problems start to increase and eventually they come face to face with a big issue that actually might not get solved, no matter how hard they try and fight.
People start to look up at them for solutions.
So, the big crisis arrives, and everybody is expectantly looking up to them to be the rescuer again. But, somewhere deep inside, a nagging feeling begins to appear. They are not really as strong as they liked to think. There are still some problems that they couldn’t possibly conquer on their own, and dear heaven in god, it looks like they might actually need help. But, they look around and all they find is adoring and hopeful eyes that suddenly appear to be burdensome. Everybody likes being needed, but nobody likes being in the position of being needed all the time.
And they are trapped.
The sense of being trapped in their own net intensifies, even as the problem seems nowhere close to getting solved. They begin to worry that people will finally know the truth that the “the super-human” image that they had painfully created was all a lie. They were not really that strong, to begin with, and all the burden they had been carrying alone had just made their shoulders weaker.
The next step.
Just like there is always a solution to every problem, there is always a positive end to every negative mindset. When we are at the bottom of the pit, there is no other place but to look up. Clichéd as these lines may seem, there is a great deal of truth in them. It is only when we accept that we are not as strong as we thought, we will even begin to think of asking for help.
When a parent is surrounded by a sick toddler, dirty piles of laundry, no dinner in the kitchen, they will have no choice but to call up a family member and ask someone if they can get some food, do their laundry, or maybe just come over to take care of the child, as they try to finish other tasks.
They ask and they receive.
The things that we complicate the most often have the easiest resolutions. When a parent is tired after a long day of hard work, just kindly asking their children for a glass of water often results in a very satisfactory exchange of emotions. The parent is thrilled to realize that the child would love to help, and the child is thrilled to know that even a parent sometimes needs help. It also teaches children that to ask for help is not a sign of weakness. It takes courage to know that we are unable to do something and that somebody else might actually have to help us to get the work done.
It is said that it takes a village to raise children. I believe that this applies not just for kids, but for each and every one of us. We weren’t alone when we were born. We won’t be alone when we die. Each and every one of us will have somebody different present at the time of our birth and death, but very rarely will we be alone.
It is good to be strong and independent in life. But it is equally good to know when a situation is too much for us to handle alone. If there’s food to be prepared, let’s ask a friend. If there’s unlimited laundry and no time to do it, let’s look for a laundromat. If we need some kind words, let’s trust our children or other family members.
We can choose to live our lives in a vicious cycle of our invincibility. Or we can accept the sweet truth that our village lives right around us, but will only appear if and when we decide to look for them.