Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Did you ever ask for help?

I remember one instance of asking for help to someone. I did not doubt the answer. I expected a Yes. One instance isn’t much in six decades. This blog topic is not about business-related help questions. Those have a joint purpose: finish the job or task. My topic is about personal questions for help.

My original blog title was: Why are we afraid of asking for help? However, such a blog title would have had an implicit answer: fear. Nevertheless, I do assume that the Yes and No answers are related to my blog topic: doubt, fear, hope & love. Doubt and fear relate to an expected No answer.

A 2017 TED Talk by Michele L. Sullivan gives a slightly different answer: Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. I suppose that her view is wishful thinking for many – if not most – people. When we view asking for help as a weakness (eg, in our character) then doubt and fear are to be expected.

I suppose that many – if not most – of us do not view asking for help as a strength. In our view, asking for help would create our dependence on others. Someday, they might ask for favours in return to them. We prefer our independence towards neighbours, municipalities, governments, and the like.

Quite some classic pop songs are about this topic, like:

  • Help! (1965) by the Beatles (eg, Wiki);
  • Helpless (1970) by Neil Young and performed by CSN&Y (eg, Wiki);
  • Help is on its Way (1977) by the Little River Band (eg, lyrics, Wiki);

In the 1960s and 1970s, help was the exception. Nowadays, help seems to be “everywhere” (eg, municipality, government). Notwithstanding that official help, several high-profile scandals are related to such help (eg, Dutch childcare benefits scandal, Dutch Groningen gas field compensations).

In a 1986 speech, former US President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) made a famous joke about such help: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.” (eg, speech, video).

“In this society, we are confronted with so many things that we learn more and more about ourselves and the human condition over time. It is very important to know our limits to be able to overcome them and be able to achieve our true goal. Often misplaced pride stops us from moving forward and in the song we wanted to say not to be too proud and to be able to ask for help when you need it. The most powerful way to do this is music.”

A quote by the Senegalese-American singer-songwriter Marieme (b.1988)

Ask For Help (2018) by Marieme
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song

[Verse 1]
You hide how you feel
Too scared to show you’re real
Thought of rejection makes you ill
Always guessing, always stressing how to heal

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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