Interdependance = Maturity

When asked about matters of finance, the most common response I’ve received from people both young and old is this:  “I don’t want to be rich, I just want to be secure.  I just don’t want to have to worry about money.”

Seriously?!  You really think these two things are mutually exclusive?!  Being so “financially secure” that you “don’t have to worry about money” is in essence, the exact definition of “being rich”!  Yet, some people don’t see these two things as equal.

Now, I understand the sentiment of not wanting to be “rich”, where “rich” means that we drive exotic cars and own private islands.  But, to see the desire for a financial standing that provides worry-free security as “not rich” implies that being “secure” has to do with something other than material wealth.

And if material riches aren’t the goal, then it doesn’t make sense that one would be seeking security from a lack of material wealth, like being poor or homeless.  But then, what is it that people are seeking security from?  Public scrutiny?  A loss of social status?  Having to work harder and longer hours?

Sadly, I don’t think any of these are at the heart of the desire for security.  For, as people get older, having the nicest car or the best clothes just aren’t as important anymore.  And working hard makes for a good night of sleep.  As such, what I think most people are really seeking is security from “having to ask for help”.

Asking for Help

In present day American society, “Individual Independence” is glorified and “Dependence” is vilified and reserved only for the weak.  Yet, as Steven Covey described in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it is a relationship of “Interdependence” that demonstrates the highest level of maturity.

Why is it, then, that asking for help is so hard?  Are we really that immature?  Or is the world really that callous and cold?

Asking others for help…  That’s a funny one.  It cracks me up when a friend starts off asking for a favor with the preface of “If it’s not an inconvenience…”, “If it’s not too much trouble…”, or “If you’re not busy…”  Of course, it is inconvenience and of course I’m busy!!!  Does anyone really think that I had set aside this Saturday to help other people move?  Or take them to the airport?  Or fix their computer?  Yes, it is an inconvenience! But, I’m ecstatic to do it.  I know how hard it can be to swallow you pride and ask for help, so not only am I happy to help you out, but I actually see it as an honor and a privilege that you chose to ask me.  Even so, it is still an inconvenience, but that is 100% ok.

In general, because we all want to feel as though we matter / count in this world, I think most people would jump at the chance to help someone out and make a positive contribution.  Yet, when it comes to inviting a seemingly willing spirit into our lives to offer us assistance, most people are reluctant.  And when they do *finally* decide to ask for help, they start off meekly with “If it’s not too much trouble…”

But, not me.  Not anymore.

When I need help, I simply and confidently ask:  “Hey man.  I need your help.”  And I expect that my request will be fulfilled.  Not because of me or “who I am”, but because of the other person and who they are…  A family member, a friend, a neighbor, or even a stranger who understands what it is like to be in need of assistance.

The fact is, this life is not meant to be done in isolation.  God gave us each other so that we could work together and help each other, not so we could compete against each other and hoard our individual resources and talents.  Everyone has something to offer and everyone has something they need.  It was purposefully designed this way.

As a child, I remember my own mother explaining to me that through interdependence and by the grace of God, that all of our needs would always be met…  “Cuando tienes, das.  Cuando necesitas, te dan.”  …  “When you have, give.  When you need, they will give to you.”

As such, I have never gone without.

So, the next time you need a helping hand, ask confidently and consider it a sign of your maturity.