I teach an empathy building workshop called Project Hero to students in the spring and winter of every year, and it’s educational bliss. One particular thing that comes up each and every workshop is the concept of asking help. As teenagers, they sometimes do not want to ask the adults in their life for help, probably because it’s not cool, but also because there’s some sort of glamour in independence.
I think that sticks when we get to adulthood, and it’s a habit that’s hard to break.
Hear me when I say it’s okay to ask for help. And if we want our young people to understand and practice this, we must practice it ourselves. It doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t make you lazy, it doesn’t make you less than. It makes you human.
It’s okay to ask for help when the walls feel like they’re closing in and you don’t have the strength to push them back out. That doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human.
It’s okay to say no to things that will take your time and add to your stress. There are only so many hours in the day. This does not make you mean, it makes you human.
It’s okay to ask for help when the baby won’t stop crying at night, and therefore you haven’t slept and are becoming a broken-down monster version of yourself. It doesn’t make you a bad mother or parent, it makes you human.
It’s okay to ask for help when you find you are being stretched too thin. You are not an octopus, you are human.
It’s okay to ask for help when the depression falls upon you like a thick winter blanket, smothering all the light that surrounds you, making getting out of bed seem like an insurmountable task. It doesn’t make you broken, it makes you human.
It’s okay to ask for help when don’t understand something. Clarification and explanation are part of growing and learning and living. This doesn’t make you stupid, it makes you human.
Humans are built to help one another. Remember that when your lips want to hold your pleas in your mouth. Remember that when people ask you for help, too.