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The Significance of ‘Asking for Help’ — Rising Above Self-Pride

“If you knew what I know about the power of giving you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.” — Lord Buddha

We live in a world of constant competition and uprising, where every other person is doing their best to become someone in the society, they live in. While Oblivion is inevitable, we as human beings are constantly driven to prove our superiority in society, eventually forgetting that our sense of fake pride that we harbor within our minds is fragile.

That, every single human being is born in this lifetime to experience life and possibly leave one day, without any strings holding them back. With the roaring rage that the global pandemic has left in India following the second wave, people have come to realize and repurpose their priorities.

Learning from Vulnerabilities

Long gone are the days wherein people based their life around their achievements and their sense of pride. The main priority now is to survive, keep the most vulnerable people around us safe and come together as a community. Now is the time to make use of this one life that we have been blessed with.

And, not just the example of a pandemic, we need to realize that we are merely human beings with basic attributes. So, when in need, asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of rising above your pride and ego to get your life back on track.

For someone like me who has worked throughout his life to become the person I am, I knew that I would personally struggle to ask for help during my most vulnerable time, a dreadful dark phase where I witnessed myself and my family struggle with the wrath of Covid.

However, reiterating Buddhism’s Prostration Theory has helped bring me out of the constant reverie in my mind. Somehow, throughout the process of struggles, I understood that asking for help brings you a sense of satisfaction that is way better than struggling alone.

I didn’t want to be the person who beat themselves up over the feeling of inadequacy when my neighbours brought me and my family food while we were at our worst. I wanted to instead treat that as a learning experience, something that has instilled a better understanding of how important being part of a community is today.

We are so wired in our self-pride that we sometimes forget that our behaviors and our contributions make us a part of this community. As human beings, we need to overcome our righteousness and realize that we need to think of the people in general and not just the ones who we know or who would be there for us at a point in our life.

Having a well-knit community of people, related or not, is completely in our hands and our approach and behavior play a crucial role in that. With the kind of experiences that humankind has witnessed recently, it is now time that we transcend from being self-centered to being selfless and doing our bit as a human. We need to relook at the concept of Darwin’s theory of natural selection and be part of a community that lives in peace and harmony.

How Prostration Theory Helped Me Grasp the Concept Better?

I wouldn’t consider myself a righteous or self-centered person. However, being a self-made man, I have my moments of pride where getting help from someone did leave a bad taste in my mouth. However, I have learned the hard way that asking for help is one of the most tangible things that a human being could do.

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The prostration theory in Buddhism has been a learning experience through this ride for me. It has brought me a sense of understanding, something that I had a hard time grasping. This act is prevalent among Buddhist practitioners for multiple reasons, including:

· Instilling a feeling of giving or veneration

· To rise above the feelings of defilements and conceit

· An act that perpetuates and accumulates merit

While these might seem confusing, the main crux of the prostration theory explains the concept of finding power in submission. It teaches that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness but a priority. And, the moment I understood that I could feel all my worries and feelings of superiority seeping out of my mind, charging my soul with an enhanced understanding of why begging in a moment doesn’t affect my achievements, my goals, or even my sense of pride that I have instilled within myself over this lifetime.

Why Is It Essential to Ask for Help?

It is with no doubt that the past month has been extremely tough for my family and me. Not just the virus, the impacts of it physically, but to experience and witness the wrath of the pandemic firsthand was a shrill eye-opener. I remember indulging in constant calls to the hospitals, trying to secure a hospital bed and the basic medical facilities for my mother, only to experience disappointment every single time.

I was desperately asking for help, only to not get any initially. However, things have worked out for the better, but this experience has taught me one thing that I can’t stress enough.

It made me understand that begging is a vulnerability that puts us in situations where we are dependent on someone else to get us by. In such times, there is no point in us exercising our self-pride or ego. We need to put down our walls, come together as a community, and harbor the best ways to pull ourselves back from such testing times.

Here are a few excerpts I would like to share why I think it is essential we ask for help:

Nurture relationships

Not just the pandemic, but even in general, we need to strive together as better human beings in this society. You wouldn’t believe this, but even scientific studies suggest that asking for help instill a sense of belonging in relationships, helping nurture and develop them in the process.

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Enhanced resilience

While many people believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness, it is likely the complete opposite. When you are actively asking for help, you surround yourself with people that can help you feel better and contribute to your development. These kinds of situations instill a better sense of optimism, allowing you to overcome the funk you are stuck in.

Develop Growth mindset

Pride and misplace ego are two markers of self-destruction. While it’s okay to be proud of your achievements, using them to prove your superiority places everything in a negative connotation. Getting help from someone with a positive outlook contributes to your growth mindset.

Gives you a sense of belonging

It is sporadic for people to ask for help without meaning. Instead, you will only find someone groveling for help when their back has hit the wall. Having someone willing to support you through such testing times brings you a sense of positivity amidst all the lingering darkness, so there is no doubt that it stabilizes your mental well-being.

Final Words

Remember that we are on this planet for a finite number of days, wherein each day is a chance for us to fulfill the purpose that we are here for. While you could achieve money, fame and awards indefinitely, there’s nothing that can beat humanity. Especially in such testing and trying times when people are struggling to survive, we need to rise above our self-pride and ego and ask for help when we need it. Not just in context to this dreadful pandemic, but in general as well. It is time we treat the act of seeking help as a sign of maturity and resilience.

“I am not only a gender, a religion, staying in a country or region, or playing different roles. Above all, I am a human and I see humans around me in this universe. It’s important to be Human and show humanity towards self and others.” — Dr. Paras.

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