Another dot in the blogosphere?

Help yourself

Posted on: October 5, 2021

I try not to go out because we are still in the midst of a pandemic. When I do, I avoid crowds.

So I was surprised when three different people approached me last week for directions during my rare forays outside. Each time the person who needed help did not make the query in english, but we figured it out.


I could have tried the latest iteration of Translate in iOS which translates (or transliterates) in real time in face-to-face mode. But that would have been overkill.

When I knew where they needed to go, I provided exaggerated gestures and simple english. When I did not, I pulled up Google Maps when they showed me the address they were headed.

Then I wondered why they did not do this themselves. All of them had Internet-connected mobile phones. Why did they not help themselves?

That is a question I ask myself in other situations, e.g., work-related consults or queries. I could just take the jobs, but I draw an ethical line between where people need outside perspective and when they can actually help themselves.

But I realise that the problem is not that people do not know about helpful technologies. It is that they do not know when to help themselves and when to strategically ask for help. 

I find that they choose to go independent when they need someone else, or they seek assistance when can learn on their own. These decisions seem to be dictated by their boss or their budget. 

For example, they need outside expertise, but a higher-up is too proud to seek help. Or they have unused funds in their annual budget, so they seek a perfunctory workshop.

Here is a free tip: Rid yourself of such mindsets and practices. You help yourself in the long run.

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