Paw Patrol and Lessons on Vulnerability

“No job is too big, no pup is too small.”

This inspirational quote is from Ryder, the leader of the Paw Patrol, a group of puppies who continually save the day.

If you don’t know it – you don’t have a toddler!!

In the town of Adventure Bay, Ryder (a human boy) and his team of pups continually save the people of the town from accidents and trouble.

It’s a funny thing because I find myself continually frustrated by the people in the town where the Paw Patrol live because they are continually calling Ryder and the team for the smallest, most ridiculous things. The mayor’s pet chicken is missing – call Ryder. The town fisherman has lost his fishing rod – call Ryder. The kitty cat grooming parlour has flooded with soapy bubbles – call Ryder. It’s ridiculous!

And yet, this week, as I thought about it from a different angle, I realised that actually, maybe it wasn’t so much ridiculous as inspiring. And beautiful. And special.

I thought about how I would feel so silly phoning someone and asking for help for such trivial things. I might feel like I was being ‘needy’, or putting pressure on the other person, burdening them. And it got me thinking about what type of things I would be willing to ask for help for, what were ‘worthy’ of involving someone else, of asking another person to step in?

This global pandemic has taken its toll on so many people in so many different ways. And because of the nature of the virus and the need to isolate and separate for physical health reasons, it has caused us to pull away from each other at the very time that we need each other the most for emotional and mental reasons.

This time; this upheaval, this unknown, this uncertainty has caused me to really think about what my criteria is for asking for help and why. I have realised that whilst I am so willing to help other people with problems big or small, I don’t allow other people to do the same for me. And I’ve realised that if this period of time has not taught me just how much we need people, friendship and community – then it’s a lesson I’ll never learn!

I want to be like the people in the town of Adventure Bay – so confident in their own worthiness to receive help, and so confident in the Paw Patrol’s willingness to help, that I will ask for support for anything!!

What about you? How comfortable are you asking for help? How easy do you find it to say that you are struggling, or that you are lonely, or overwhelmed, or tired? If you find it hard – why? What’s holding you back?

I want to encourage you to reach out to someone today and just share with them how you’re doing. Maybe you’ve had a great day, maybe it’s been terrible. Maybe you’re feeling content and cared for or maybe you’re feeling lonely and despairing. Whatever it is – share it. If we are going to build a new normal – I want real, authentic, honest and vulnerable community to be a part of it; don’t you?