Browsing through a bookstore in a large US city recently brought me face-to-face with a huge range of ‘self-help’ books. Everybody has an opinion on how to help oneself move from where they are to where they were intended to be, to achieve perfection, to devise and implement a master plan for their lives, to take control of their circumstances and forge ahead…After all, if we do not look after #1 (ourselves) who will? And if we cry out for help from some other person or if we whisper that we have a need for outside help will that not be regarded as weakness, cowardice and inadequacy? Who amongst us want to be regarded in this manner?
So we keep it inside; we don’t cry out loud; we learn how to hide our feelings. In the process we deny ourselves the opportunity to live in community and to commune with each other. We were created for community; our spirits long to help and to be helped. We don’t have all the answers (as shocking as that may be to some of us) and when we commune out of a sense to learn and grow, life blossoms.
Reaching out to others cannot equate to abdication of our personal responsibilities rather it’s the recognition that there comes a time when having tried your best you need some help. It works on the premise that what you are doing or the thing you are concerned with is of great importance and should not be abandoned just because you are unable to accomplish it on your own.
Help…help…Around us that is the cry of many. Our ability to hear others is interestingly connected to our ability to ask for help. If we believe that we are strong enough and wise enough to help ourselves, we will be hard-pressed to understand why others should desire help. They too need to be strong enough and wise enough to help themselves. In the process, when we fail to ask for help and to help each other we miss the opportunities for growth and to bask in the sunshine of life.
How can I help you? Can you help me?
Something to journey with…