If an employer were to ask an applicant what skills he has in abundance, a long list of such words as: organization, technical skills, teamwork, leadership and work experience to name a few would most likely be on the list. And this is not to say that the above mentioned are not important indicator of one’s expected work performance when trying to assess which applicant would best meet the requirements of said job. It is also presumptuous to assume that most people have all these skills in abundance and therefore, such qualities come hand in hand with each applicant or person that one meets on the street.
However, there is one skill that is more important and rarer than a person having any of the above mentioned qualities. That skill is humility in the form of being able to ask for help and to ask questions instead of pretending to know the answer. This quality is not only helpful on the job but also within any team, classroom or marriage where the individual expects to be successful.
“Pride goes before the fall” is an old Hebrew proverb that many people have seemed to have forgotten. I have seen the impediments that an excess of self pride has on my friends, family and even myself in my every day life. This essay is not a sermon since I have had the same problems with a lack of humility but is rather a testament on personal experience which as taught me the benefits of asking for help when I need it.
Asking for help on the job can be a slippery slope. One does not want to portray an aura of incompetence but it is the lesser of two evils to ask for help before a task is to be completed than to rely upon erroneous assumptions and end up costing your company more time and money than if help had been requested before the fact. Another old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is proof enough that asking for help on the job is much more desirable than the alternative of costing the company time and money and possibly losing one’s job in the process.Any individual in a classroom setting, from elementary to the secondary level and especially in college can benefit from asking for help. The stakes increase exponentially as one travels further up the educational ladder. Academic failure in high school leads to a limited choice on universities or failure to receive a high school diploma at all. In college, the opportunity is usually there for students to seek help from a tutor, to visit with the professor during his/her office hours in order to review a term paper or to even form a study group with other classmates. All three examples require the individual to admit, by words or by his actions, that the material covered in class is too difficult for him to successfully complete on his own and that he needs assistance. The consequence of not having the skill of humility by way of asking for help is failure in the class and more harmful is the formulation of a permanent habit of not asking for help than can plague a student right up until he flunks out of college and is to spend the rest of his life in dead end jobs that prevent him from living up to his potential. All of the above mentioned are real possibilities and yet more times than not, many students are hesitant against asking for help, or they ask for help when it is too late.One of the more important capacities that one can ask for help is within a marriage. Pride, more than in any other capacity, speaks to a spouse’s reluctance in asking for help. However, asking for help from a spouse can not only help solve the problem but is a great way in helping to create a bond within the marriage. Many couples in counseling complain that they feel neglected and do not feel needed within the marriage. Being ready to ask for help or relying on one’s spouse is one of the most effective ways of making sure that the other does not feel neglected. With the successful marriages as well as the marriages that ended in divorce, pride had one of the most poisonous effects on a marriage, that it would behoove everyone not avoid the same mistakes that they no doubt, have seen from their parents, friends and coworkers. In the same way failure to ask for help from one’s spouse has counterproductive effects within the marriage, being ready to ask for help and totally rely on one’s spouse can have a wonderful effect in helping the two within the marriage form a bond that will last for the rest of their lives. Failure to do this can lead to divorce which supersede any and all of the above mentioned consequences. Divorce can lead to deep scars on the children which they will carry for the rest of their lives. Also, children of a divorce will usually not have the benefit of two parents in the home. An immediate consequence is a 50% decrease in the income of the family and possibly pulling the family below the poverty line. “The divorce of his parents leads to a much greater likelihood of the child growing up and committing a crime, not finishing school and not having a successful marriage of their own.”Modern Western society has tried to mask the horrendous effects that divorce has on society but they are so self-evident that any careful view on the subject should lead anyone to the idea that every effort should be made to make their marriage work. And for those that are not married, creating the habit of asking for help within a humble heart takes time and efforts should be made to create this skill sooner rather than later. Humility and asking for help far outweighs the benefits than any momentary embarrassment might have. This scenario may seem far fetched to skeptics and divorce does comes from more than one source but decreasing the possibility of divorce by cheerfully asking for help from one’s spouse will greatly decrease the possibility of a broken home and all the effects that it has on the children.Ask for help and form a new friendship in the process! The Holy Bible Franklin, Ben Poor Richard’s Almanac Johnson, Kathy. “Why did my Parents Leave? (1999) New York: Scribners.