We Have to Learn to Accept Help When It Is Available

A climber accepting help.

Accepting help when it is available is an important lesson that everyone has to learn. But it happens at different times for everyone….

I was on a bike trip. I had just fallen and had a bloody knee. But there I was, standing at a payphone on the highway. This was before cell phones. I had checked my voicemail and heard my client’s distressing phone message. And I knew I had to phone her back. 

She was kind of desperate for love, and she had answered a Personal Ad and traveled to another city.  Now, she found herself in a hotel room with a guy who wasn’t nice to her once she got there.  

So she called me. And very, very luckily, I retrieved her message. And we were able to get her out of that painful and frightening situation. 

But it could have gone in a completely different direction.

After this incident, she realized that she should consult with me before she got herself into another pickle. I remember the moment when the light bulb flickered on in her head and she saw there was a better way.

“Well,” she said, “you’re always there for me after I screw up to help me after the crisis. Maybe I should allow you to help me before I create another crisis.  Maybe I can untie your hands?” 

Maybe you are capable of helping me, she was saying. Maybe I want you to help me. Maybe you are someone worthwhile. Maybe I can trust you to hurt me less than I hurt myself.  

Maybe she could start accepting help when it was actually available.

It was a hard lesson. One she needed to learn. But it could have been a lot harder.

And she’s not alone. We all need to learn basic rules of travel:

  • Drink when drink is available
  • Go to the bathroom when there’s a bathroom
  • Stock up on snacks when there’s a rest stop

Because the journey is long and hard. And supplies are often short. Ask for what you need when it’s there in front of you.  

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