…because i asked for help

today, i had to go to the veteran’s hospital (VA) to get a physical, fingerprinted, blood work, and fill out tons of paperwork to prepare for my upcoming internship.  to say the least, the process was overwhelming. not only am i horrible with cardinal directions, I had to travel between two different hospitals to complete all the needed tasks.

the first thing you should know about the VA is that the ground floor is not the first floor, and main elevators (east) are not the main elevators.  but i didn’t figure this out on my own.  someone helped me.

 and that’s how the rest of my afternoon went.

here are the details:

after my first session of paperwork, i had to go to the lab on the east side of the 4th floor. although they provided me with detailed instructions, i ended up on the oncology unit.  i asked for directions from a man in a wheelchair with “Vietnam Veteran” proudly displayed on his hat.  not only did he offer me directions, he wheeled himself alongside me to make sure i made it to the correct elevator.  similarly, a kind nurse provided me with assistance after i admitted i had no idea what else i was supposed to be doing and directed me to the fingerprint office.three laps around the ground floor later, a worker from the coffee shop asked if i needed help.  i kindly told her  “i think i got it.”  on the 4th lap, i asked for her help.

i could go on to explain the 10 elevator rides i took or the laps around the VA i made, but what i am trying to say is that getting to the right place today and completing all of the little tasks was hard.  i really didn’t know where to go or what to do.  however, i learned quickly:  i needed help.

so i asked for it.

today was meaningful because i learned an important lesson about asking for help- and more importantly- about giving help.

here are the lessons:

while we all like to be independent and figure it out by ourselves, asking for help can make a difficult or challenging experience easier and more enjoyable. why get lost when someone can point you in the right direction?   as much as we all want to succeed as individuals, a significant portion of our success is due to the people who have helped us out along the way.  

i also learned about giving help.   i can whole-heartedly and honestly say that every.single.person responded with kindness and a genuine interest in pointing me in the right direction. no one acted “put out” or “too busy”

which is more than i can say for myself sometimes.

today, i learned to be patient, giving, and kind when offering help.  because when people are asking for help, they probably really need it.  and even if you point them in the right direction….doing so while acting annoyed or disturbed by the delay probably isn’t that helpful.  everyone needs help.  so why not make good use of your talents by welcoming the need for assistance?

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