The bucket list: Ask for help

”Don’t be shy about asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it only means you’re wise.”    — Anonymous

(15th of a series)

WE live in the Age of Information. You could say it is both a blessing and a curse to live during what could very well be “the best of times, the worst of times” as Dickens would probably describe it, to have so much information available at our fingertips.

We have terabytes of available information on our smartphones and computers. It is amazing wizardry indeed! All we need is the correct phrase and spelling to look up something and VOILA, there it is. 

What is the downside? We think we know everything there is to know about practically everything. Secondly, we feel lost without our mental crutch, our smart phones. Third, we are susceptible to groupthink — to think like the herd does, as trends and memes proliferate in the internet. There is a serious need to dig for the truth.

Raw knowledge is not the same as wisdom as it applies to how we live our lives. We still need our thinking caps to process and filter information and cull out only those golden nuggets of wisdom we could use to live our lives the best way we can. We junk the rest.

Our minds and the collection of life experiences in our memory banks function as the kidneys to filter out the lies and all useless information. The Pareto 80/20 rule applies: 20% of stuff matters and the remaining 80% is chaff and should be trashed if we want our mental faculties to remain healthy and functioning for a long time yet.

With all these ever evolving gadgets and gizmos, most people these days think that they have the smarts to handle practically every life situation.

This may be true — but only up to a point. Life, as we know it, is not so cut and dried.

Self-confidence is good but not when it makes you arrogant and cocky believing that you are better than anyone else. Life has a way of knocking you down off your high horse. A bruised and battered ego is a good starting point to learn humility and gratitude. This is when the soul begins to grow.

The downside of the Age of Information? Because we have become self –reliant, we feel we don’t need anyone else. We don’t want to ask for help when we are stumped with a problem or a situation that is beyond our abilities to deal with. Society expects us to find our way with the wherewithal and smart tools we have.

Before the advent of GPS (Global Positioning System), most men (yes, men) wandered aimlessly about trying to find an address, refusing to admit to themselves that they are lost. Ask for directions? Bah, humbug!

Why was this so? The short answer: EGO.  Most do not want to be perceived as weak or inept or lacking in common sense. Most women seem to be just fine asking strangers or people at gas stations for directions and the men who give the directions seem just happy to oblige.

GPS technology is a blessing. However, there is a caveat about complete reliance on it. No technology, at this time, no matter how sophisticated can replace good old common sense. You still need to process the information provided to find the best route for yourself. GPS is a great tool when the freeways are clogged and you need alternate routes to your destination. That said, never relinquish your chief navigator position.

Navigating our own life’s journey is not that simple however. There are twists and turns in life that throw us out of our smug self-sufficiency. We find ourselves needing help, either from our fellow men or more than likely, from God, when everything we have tried, has failed spectacularly.

Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Sometimes, we go through seasons of darkness when it seems the universe is conspiring against us and everything that is happening weighs us down. We feel helpless as though a Category 5 hurricane is tossing us about like a rag doll and there is no end in sight.

These are the seasons when going down on our knees and doubling down on prayers begging for help from above are the best of any one’s lifetime.

This is a time of building a deeper, more personal relationship with the loving God of our beings, who the psalmist described as the one “who knit us in our mother’s womb,” so that we are each “fearfully and wonderfully made.” All we need to do when lost and helpless, is to ASK for HELP. After all, prayers, heartfelt and unceasing, are the most powerful force in the universe.

To borrow from the slogan that a sportswear company who seems to have lost its way at the moment:

JUST DO IT.

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Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@asianjournalinc.com

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