stop being so selfish - ask for help

My friend has this problem. She will do anything for anyone but
has trouble asking for help. This summer she started building her art
studio- we had spent years talking about it and dreaming together about
what it would look like, and even buying things at thrift stores that
were going to “be perfect for your studio someday”. So here it was
happening and she was doing it all herself, getting tendinitis from
hammering, etc – “I know you’re busy”and “I can do it myself” she would
say when I complained that she hadn’t called for help.


Finally she saw the light when I told her this story, which I heard from the phenomenal Jan Phillips:


Jan was in India in a small village where they were building a
school. They were making cement for the walls and to do this they had a
line of all the people from the village from the banks of the river up
to the building site. The person at the river would take a small
container, fill it with sand from the bank and then the container would
be passed from person to person up the line.


Jan was in the line helping, and as they worked under the hot sun
she noticed a small tractor and truck sitting idle not too far away.
Jan was getting very hot and uncomfortable, so she said to the woman
next to her, “This is crazy, why don’t we just go get that tractor and
use it to fill up the truck with sand and the drive it up there? It’ll
be so much easier and faster instead of all of us baking in the sun
here.”


The woman looked at her compassionately and said, “You don’t understand, every
person in this line wants to be here. When this school is done they
want to be able to walk by and say- I helped build that. And they want
to tell their children and grandchildren about the day they helped
build the school. If we use the tractor and trailer, we will be robbing
them of that joy.”


So think of it this way, think of how much we all like to
help others. How good we feel to be of service. So when we want to dismiss the idea of asking for help, maybe we ought to question whether it is our right to rob others of
that joy.