I don’t know Oren Miller. Never met him in person.
Yet he accepted me with open arms and devoting this little slice of the Internet to him is the least I can do.
See, there is a large group of folks like myself who write blogs about fatherhood. Oren is the one who brought everyone together in our own Facebook page. There’s less than 1,000 of us. It sounds like a lot, but it feels like an intimate group.
Some are like me – with full-time jobs, blogging only when able. Some do it for a living. Some are stay-at-home dads with their wife as the breadwinner and some are stay-at-home dads because they are out of work. Some are gay, some are divorced. We’re all scattered across the country and yet despite our different status’ and different locations, we are connected through two things: fatherhood and our blogs, tied neatly together through this Facebook group.
Oren orchestrated it.
On May 30 Oren was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. In an effort to help raise funds for Oren, the website giveforward.org has asked our Dad Bloggers group to include a link to Oren’s page and to write about one of two topics. They will help donate money to his fund for the blogs we write.
Here is the link to the page: https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/ytv4/give-back-to-oren
One of the topics is: why it’s important to get past the stigma of asking for help.
Maybe it’s because I’m a male and it’s embedded somewhere in my ancestral DNA. Maybe it’s because I only choose to really take part in a lot of activities that I am overly confident in, which is why I’d rather shoot baskets than go to the driving range. Maybe it’s just a part of human nature. Whatever it is, I am not a person who is good at asking for help. I don’t like to involve too many people if I don’t have to, because it might make the message convoluted.
Yet, as I’ve gotten older, I have become more comfortable in who I am. I can ask for help in areas that I don’t know much about. Over the years I learned that there is so much to learn and there are other people who know more about things than I do and they can offer their help.
Whether it’s asking my step-dad about how a carburetor works, or asking my brother-in-law exactly how he brews beer. Or raising my hand at work and saying “I don’t get it, can you help me understand it?” These are all things I’ve gotten more comfortable with because I might be called upon one day to explain these things to someone else.
The same applies to when we all need help. Whether it’s asking for advice on something or taking someone up on their offer of “If you need anything, just call.” It’s OK to show a sign of weakness. Not even The Most Interesting Man in the World can be perfect at everything.
So I was happy to devote these words to Oren to help him out. One thing that’s becoming clearer to me, especially as I continually help a child navigate even the littlest parts of the world, I think as we all strive to be better human beings, it’s OK to lean on our fellow man and get support when we need it.