|Seabrook Island; SC|
“Humility is being right-sized.” - Anon
“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” - Quintus Ennius
It is easy to feel inadequate. People we love are stricken with disease and have debilitating accidents. Our best efforts cannot save them, and sometimes it doesn’t even seem like there is anything we can do to improve the situation. This is harder on some of us than others, we for whatever reason many of us grew up feeling that we were somehow responsible for the well-being of our fellow man. This just isn’t the nature of life. Things happen – and life by definition is a terminal condition.
One of the most pervasive shames on the subconscious level is that our fellows will discover that we are inadequate as a human being. The attached fear of course is abandonment – that we will be held up to ridicule and end up alone in life. The amazing thing is how many people spend their whole life making decisions designed to keep this phantom duo at bay without once ever realizing that all of their meaningful decisions in life have been driven by these fears. For some of us it is even deeper – as youth we got the notion in our head that it was our responsibility to “save” the human race, and we have spent decades of our life feeling that there was no way that we could ever prove that we are adequate.
What this usually causes is avoidance – when someone is dying and actually needs our help more than ever, our subconscious fear is that we will have to face our own inadequacy if we are around them. So we avoid others in their time of greatest need. Or, in the case of someone who has suffered a debilitating condition, our rationalization kicks in and we declare that there isn’t anything we could do that would make a difference anyway.
Taking an honest look around will quickly show that these attitudes are much more common than one would think. And they are subtle – because our ego is so good at rationalizing our behavior we don’t even see the root causes of our selfish behavior. But there is no situation so bad that a bit of kindness or an expression of love will not improve. The reality is that unless we are on guard against this, we will cheat ourselves out of much growth and understanding of life by avoiding these opportunities for service. Who is confined to a nursing home, hospital or their home that we have not reached out to lately? Odds are there is at least one for every one of us, and this falls into the category of one of those things we CAN change. Remembering that we always gain more than we give when we are of genuine service to another helps us get over our ego’s resistance, and we will never regret having put forth the effort.
Today, may I choose to be a friend.