Independence does not mean that you should not ask for help.

Ever since he was a little boy, Tom always liked doing things by himself. From the age of two he was already feeding himself, and he was potty trained from he was one. As soon as he could walk he didn’t like being held. He grew up pretty much with the same attitude and soon he was doing everything on his own. His parents prided themselves in having an independent child, but they knew that was not always the way to go. Sure it was great being independent, but no one could do everything on their own. There would be something that he would be unable to do and they prayed he had the wisdom to ask for help.


Tom did not pay any attention when his parents kept telling him that it was alright to ask for help. He didn’t need anyone’s help to do anything. That was why he made sure he knew how to do everything by himself. One day his parents got him a new pair of shoes that had laces. As much as Tom tried he could not get it right. His mother tied the laces for him before he left, but somewhere along the way they got loose and he was unable to tie them again. Instead, he tucked them inside the side of the shoes, but they kept falling out.


Several adults along the way to school kept telling him to tie his laces or he would fall and he would tell them he didn’t mind them that way. He did not want them to know that he didn’t know how to tie them. When he got to school the class teacher told him the same thing. He told her that he would soon tie them, but he never did. She saw when he got up to go to lunch, but because the laces were hanging out he stepped on one and tripped. He fell and cut his hand. He got up slowly, and the class teacher told him that was what happened when he didn’t tie his laces. She told him once more to do it while she bandaged his cut. Tom did not want to fall again so he finally told her that he did not know how to. She tied them for him and showed him how to do it. He didn’t ask just anyone for help though. Whenever his laces got undone, he would ask the teacher for help, until finally he was able to tie them all by himself.


Independence does not mean that you should know everything and do everything for yourself. It does not mean that you should not ask for help. Independence means you are sufficiently capable of doing things for yourself.




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  1. By Avinash Sashilal


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