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No baby is an island

Now I’m only gonna speak about my own need for help, and you do you:

There is an idea of self-reliance that’s so pervasive throughout our western culture. Everyone needs to pull their weight, tit-for-tat, measure-for-measure. But we’ve all been babies when we were little, we’ve all needed help at that stage of our lives. No baby is an island. Ergo needing help can’t be inherently&universally immoral or shameful.

Yes, being underestimated does suck; imposed helpnessless beyond our own helplessness causes suffering. Sometimes “I’ll carry that for you” lands like getting tied to a chair. The help is what made me helpless. Other times it’s like getting lifted from quicksand, it’s a bridge over troubled water, it’s a relief in time of need.

I’m always getting seen as either this superhero who can do everything quickly and perfectly and what a let down I would be if I were to fail and ruin it for everybody, or as this complete grade-A no-count that better just sit there quietly we’ll fix it and I better never attempt anything for anybody. It’s rare that someone gets the balance right: that I already can do some things, I have some questions before I do some other things, and I’d better not even attempt some other things.

I have the same problem when considering other people—it’s so hard for me to get that they can do some things. I either expect them to be perfect or I dismiss them as no-counts. Truth probably is that on the one hand, distributing tasks & responsibilites & resources is a pretty difficult problem where flexibility is important. (I know kanban is a tool of the oppressors but it’s an efficient way of working.) And on the other hand, clear instruction can go a very long way. People learn things in different order and if we can get a li’l better at getting into learn&teach–mode as opposed to compete&defeat–mode, we’d all benefit.