Imagine falling in the shallow end of an Olympic swimming pool – fully clothed. You decide that in order to get out, you will walk to the opposite end of the pool. Even though it’s 50-metres away.

You set off, but it’s a struggle. After all, walking through water is significantly more demanding than walking on land. Not to forget the extra drag that comes from your saturated clothing.

Some steps later, things get worse as the water deepens. It’s now up to your chin and pushing on takes everything you have.

You’re not thinking clearly so you stubbornly keep putting one foot after another as you head into the deepest end of the pool. Pretty soon, your feet can no longer touch the bottom.

You try to swim, but it’s near-impossible. You’re fully clothed remember. Your pants are sodden and wrapped around your legs. Your top clings to your arms. Your shoes have filled with water and threaten to pull you under at any time.

You glimpse the end of the pool, and while it’s only a few metres away, it may as well be three-kilometres because you know you just won’t make it.

So what do you do?


You raise your hand for help. As straight as you can and as high as you can. Never mind feeling embarrassed or weak or whatever – YOU RAISE THAT HAND!

And suddenly something miraculous happens: you sense a splash. Someone is coming to save you. They grab you and pull you to the edge where you hold on for grim life. Slowly but surely, you begin to feel better. Things are going to be okay.

Finally, as you’re helped from the pool, wrapped in warm towels, and embraced by caring arms, one question floats through your mind:

Why didn’t I raise my hand while I was still in the shallow end?

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