Monday, September 24, 2012

I can't tell you how many times this month I have had to ask for a seat as I stand there with a bandage and cane on public transit. People visibly lower their heads in an effort not to see me.. or look about in a game of chicken to see who might cave first to my unreasonable demand. It is really hard for me to ask; I feel slightly ashamed of taking someone's seat.

This is not a rant about accessiblity or manners (though I am tempted). This is more a parable about how, even with an obvious "visible" need, folks hope I won't ask for help and I feel like I shouldn't.

Suppose I was working on a project and I was over my head. Would I ask for help? Would someone offer?

Collaboration is based on mutual support. Many groups have moved to consensus (which can be counterproductive) and implies no cross-support. Community is about collaboration; true collaboration implies one asks and offers help.

Our public transportation crowd may have forgotten how to play nice in community. Hopefully, we can discuss the  asking and offering of help in our mentoring circles and make it easier for everyone.

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