Asking for Help

Asking for help is one of the hardest things to do in our society. The icons of the self-made man, the singular hero, the army of one are common themes in cinema. Keeping people isolated is profitable to certain corporate interests who cater to fill the gap left by persons being alone.

One very important training that men receive in Motomo team training is to learn to not do things alone, to work as a team. The very first task given to the men on the new training team is impossible to do alone, although men try. Many men struggle with the taboo of asking for help.

Because asking for help is so alien to men’s experience, so difficult for men to do, Men's Divisions teach men an "official " way to ask for help.

The cost of doing things alone is very high in our society. Historically societies have always worked together to get things done – hospitals, fire safety, libraries, postal service are all ancient examples of teamwork written large.

Not being able or not knowing how to ask for help can be painful and spiritually poisonous.

Kittens
Kittens left for trash.

Once while walking home I found a grocery bag full of kittens in a trash can. The kittens had been recently born. Their eyes were still closed.

Outraged, I took the bag of kittens home. I bought a can of condensed milk and attempted to feed the kittens, but the milk fell out of their mouths and made a mess.

I started to call for help. I called the ASPCA. At first they didn’t answer at all and when they did they said they don’t help with abandoned kittens. The local veterinary clinics also said they would not help me with the kittens. The local pet stores also did not want abandoned kittens.

Finally I called an organic pet store and they gave me the number of a woman who they said might help me. I called the woman and told her my story of how i found the kittens. She was silent on the phone and I thought she was angry and maybe crazy.

I told her about trying to feed the kittens with condensed milk. Finally she spoke. “Stop feeding them condensed milk. Their stomachs can’t digest that.” she said. She asked me for my address and I gave it to the crazy cat lady.

The cat lady came over in a car and gave me a tiny baby bottle for kittens and half a can of powdered kitten milk. She showed me how to mix the powdered milk with water and feed the kittens. They drank the kitten milk!

The cat lady came back a week later with more kitten milk. We kept in touch and I fed the kittens and weaned them over six weeks. They crawled out of the kitten box and pooped all over my bedroom and I litter-box trained them. Then the cat woman came and took my kittens to the rich part of Queens and gave them away to new homes.

I’ve often thought about whoever it was who put the kittens into the trash. How desperate they must have been. How soul sickeningly out of options they must have felt. So ashamed and guilty. So alone and unable to ask for help.

* * * * * *

Another trash story:

Recently I asked for and got some help from a friend. I had two old Tube-TVs and a G4 Mac computer that I wanted to get rid of. It’s illegal and environmentally bad to dump this stuff in the trash or to abandon them on the street so I needed a car ride to take them to Best Buy.

My friend picked me up and we drove to Best Buy. I told him how thankful I was. I told him that his help meant that I would not dump my electronic trash in the street and that I was glad to dispose of my trash with integrity.

TV Wall of Trash
This wall of TV trash is on its way to getting recycled.

When we got to Best Buy, the salesman informed me that Best Buy charges $25 per TV to take them. This was a surprise and a shock. We stood in the street and thought about what to do. My friend suggested that we take the TVs in, run out and drive away. I considered the idea, but I thought the salesman might run out and get my friends license plate number.

Anyway, I had just talked my friend a big game about how I was disposing the TVs with integrity. So we decided to do the right thing. I brought the TVs and computer into the store and paid $50 for disposal.

So that’s the story. Don’t do it alone. Ask for help. It’s OK. There is integrity in asking for help.

Craig Webb is a Communications Designer in New York City.
You can contact him via his website at http://CraigWebbArt.com.

Craig Webb, 2018-02-28 | Posted in General