No, It's OK I've Got This
“Would you like some help?” – “No, I’ve got it.” Does accepting help or admitting that I need help make me feel old, incompetent, or helpless? I’m not completely sure, but I do know it has become my favorite catch phrase of late. “No, I’ve got this.” Seriously?! I’m trying to balance on a knee scooter, transfer my backpack onto the security belt, remove the tablet (with keyboard mind you), while taking off the one remaining shoe AND not hold up the TSA line behind me at your local international airport. Why are those white bins just barely (stretch stretch) out of reach? I will let you imagine the outcome, but whatever ego stopped me from accepting the help from the “kid” willing to get that stupid white bin was clearly lost in the embarrassment of having three people recover fallen objects.
I’m almost 4 weeks post op from the repair of an OCD (M93.271, for the coder in you). Non-weight bearing. For six weeks – ten weeks. “No, it’s OK, I’ve got this.” As I attempt to get off the elevator for the third time without the door closing, the line between independence and stupidity is fading quickly. Would it have killed me to let the security staff just hold the door?
During the past four weeks, six airports, and numerous adventures in public areas I’ve witnessed the amazing compassion of total strangers willing to just do the little things. Willing to open doors, move chairs, even hail a cab and load an unyielding knee scooter into the backseat. The young stranger refused payment and simply said “it’s what you do, people help people.” Too bad the mainstream news media doesn’t spend more airtime highlighting that side of society. We believe our experience is reality. If all we experience is the local news, the nightly reports of shootings, it would be easy to assume that is reality.
A 2016 Pew Research Poll noted that 48% of Americans trusted “some or none” of their neighbors. None? None! Borrowing the cup of sugar from your neighbor may be a bit dated, but do we really live in an era where I can’t at least ask the neighbor to pick up the mail? How did we get from then to now – there are countless reasons and even more scenarios which impact the decision of how trusting we can be of “others.” Unfortunately, the more times an offer of help is refused, the less likely that someone may be to extend an offer to the next damsel in distress. This adventure of “mobility limitations” (now noted all upcoming flight reservations) has made me think.
If I experienced more of humanities compassion, would I be more likely to believe that others are helpful? Would the gap between “them” and “me” close? It’s hard to allow someone to open that door and not say thank you with even a hesitant smile. It’s hard to watch someone offer their seats at the only table in the diner and accept a booth, without that same hesitant smile and thank you. The average person probably wants to be perceived as helpful – and would be helpful if I would simply say, “Yes, I would appreciate that help. Thank you.”