My parents taught me to be self-reliant. As a result, I have attempted to attack each challenge in my life head-on, by myself.

It has taken me many years to realize that I cannot do all jobs alone. I need the help of others to make most of my goals become a reality.

It ‘s OK; and, in fact, we should reach out to others for help. Many people I talk to feel overwhelmed, and rightly so as they are often tackling things by themselves. I felt overwhelmed a lot.

The more people know what we are doing, the goal we are striving to achieve, and the more we reach out to others for help, the easier it will be for us to accomplish our goals.

Many years ago I heard a story of a bricklayer who filed a claim with his insurance company after an accident. When he provided the reason for his injuries as “trying to do the job alone,” the insurance company asked for more information. Here is his response.

Dear Sir:

I am writing in response to your request for additional information for my insurance claim. In block number three of the accident claim form I wrote, “trying to do the job alone” as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain that statement more fully. I trust the following details will be sufficient. I am a bricklayer by trade.

On the date of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work I discovered that I had about 500 pounds of brick left over. Rather than carrying the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which was attached to the side of the building at the sixth-floor level.

Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out, and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of bricks.

You will note in block number 22 of the claim form that my weight is 150 pounds. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded up the side of the building at a very rapid rate of speed. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains my fractured skull and collarbone.

Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. By this time, I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of my pain. At approximately the same time however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel.

Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel then weighed approximately 50 pounds. I refer you again to the information in block number 11 regarding my weight.

As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles and the lacerations of my legs and lower body. This second encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks, and fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.

I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks in pain, unable to stand, and watching the empty barrel six stories above me, I again lost my presence of mind, and let go of the rope. The empty barrel weighed more than the rope so it came down upon me and broke both of my legs.

I hope I have furnished information sufficient to explain why “trying to do the job alone” was the stated cause of the accident.


A Bricklayer (Author Unknown)


Let’s learn from the bricklayer’s story and realize its OK to reach out for help. The more we reach out, the easier it will be for us to accomplish our goals, and the more freedom we will feel.



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