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AFTER fifty years an old man met another old woman whom he’d known in his youth. He remembered her as a winsome beauty and someone who all the boys were after. “I wanted so desperately to marry you!” he said.
“Why didn’t you?” she asked. “I was scared you’d refuse!” said the old man. “I wouldn’t have,” she said, “I liked you, but you never asked for my hand in marriage!” Imagine, he lost a beautiful woman because he never asked her!
A snooty millionaire took some of his upper class friends yachting. They passed a deserted island where a man with a long beard and tattered clothes stood and looked at them. “Who is that?” asked the friend. “I don’t know,” said the host, “but every time we sail by he stands there and looks, I think he is marooned on the island.”
“Why don’t you pick him up?” asked his friend. “He should ask for help!” said the rich man, “Shouldn’t he?” Maybe all of us are not like the millionaire and know when a man needs help, especially when he is shipwrecked on an island, but in most other circumstances we have no idea someone needs help, unless they ask for it..
We laugh at the notion that men are famously bad about asking for directions. But, in truth, most people do not easily ask for the help they need. They wait until they are hopelessly lost, or the marriage is on the brink of collapse or a simple job has become a nightmare before they seek help.
And it is also true that help is not usually too hard to get. But we have to ask before we’ll get it. Entrepreneur Brian Tracy puts it well: “Ask for what you want. Ask for help, ask for input, ask for advice and ideas — but never be afraid to ask.” Or like one man is fond of saying, “You don’t always get what you ask for, but you never get what you don’t ask for, unless it’s the flu!”
I once heard of a little girl who confidently approached a police officer. “Are you a cop?” she asked. “Yes.” “My mommy said that if I ever needed help I could ask you.” “Of course you can,” the officer replied. “What do you need?” She stuck out her foot. “Can you please tie my shoelace?” So ask and it shall be given unto you..!