As a child, I always took a bit of pride in that I was less ‘needy’. My sister was the stereotypical ‘loud’ child – always wanting her way, asking for it, and most of the time, getting it. My distaste for this behavior quite naturally made act oppositely – I was quieter, more tractable. This also meant of course that I got what I wanted less often. I remember struggling with this as a child – the thought that I’m the ‘better’, ‘easier’ kid, but I actually end up suffering more for it. I remember reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X, where as a child he quickly learned the same lesson – the first seed that eventually transformed him into a leader that spoke of taking action, of demanding rights where none were given.
It’s a lesson that hasn’t been lost on me as we run CourseHorse – the power of asking for the things that you want. It is of course a very different quality – asking graciously and in moderation, respectfully accepting when you don’t get what you want, and offering effusive appreciation when you do. Yet it’s the same lesson – there’s no ‘honor’ in doing things on your own, you win no respect when you need something, don’t ask, and carry on without it. And, on the flip side, some of the things you ask for that seem terribly unlikely end up coming through! The power to ask for help should not be forgotten.