To ask or not to ask

It’s no secret that there are many business, small or large, that are struggling right now. Chiropractic clinics are no exception. It is all in stark contrast to my position. That’s why, earlier this week, I posted to my chiropractic class’s group on Facebook.

“To the esteemed class of 2016,” I wrote. “How are you doing? How can I support you?”

For a full day, I received silence. No reactions, no comments. I confess I was surprised and disappointed. I’d chosen my words carefully, even researching how to best ask someone if they needed help. Then, a like, and a comment.

“Doing great!” my classmate wrote. “How’s it going with you?”

I was struck by how casual, flippant, and, if I’m being honest, somewhat unbelievable this statement was. I wondered if my research on how to choose the best words to convey my concern for my profession, and for my classmates, was for naught. Had I offended someone? Was I condescending? Is that why my words are being flung back at me?

I responded and clarified, “Likewise. I may be in a unique position to be able to aid our profession, but am unsure how. Hence, I’m asking if there are specific ways I can support colleagues.”

Again, there’s silence. But then another classmate comments, “Oh it’s going! Just waiting it out. Any chance you can get your hands on some PPE?”

At school, we’re taught to prideful. We have to be, for a profession constantly on the defensive. We’re proud of our philosophy, we’re proud of our concept of health care, we’re proud of our private practices. And the proud don’t need help, don’t ask for help, and indeed, reject help because we’re the ones who do the helping, not the other way around.

Here’s the thing, folks. If you don’t ask for help, you will absolutely, assuredly receive none. If you do ask for help, you may be turned away, but you may receive exactly what you need. I asked my classmate to private message me the type and quantity of PPE and stated that I’ll see what I can do.

I understand that it can be nerve-racking to ask for help. We think it places us in a vulnerable position, a position of weakness. Instead, it is a strategic pause, allowing you to gather your resources and thoughts and readying you to launch a new offensive.

In closing, to my colleagues, how can I support you?

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