“Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! Won’t you please, please help me.” — The Beatles
We have problems with dependency. We cannot need. We will not ask for help. I would rather be needed than need. I would rather provide than be the one requiring provision.
Last night I sat at dinner with a couple of friends. One friend turned to me and the friend sitting next to me, “I need you guys.” She said. But before she could say those simple words she prefaced it with, “I hate saying this…” You need me? Really? Because I need you too. I don’t think you are weak. I don’t think you are needy. In you, I see myself. In your need, I feel more comfortable with needing as well.
Earlier that day I watched a man order at a coffee shop. A simple, commonplace event for nearly everyone in the world, except for him. This man was a midget (small person) and even though he was mobile through the help of an electronic wheelchair, the extreme shortness of his limbs made even the most basic actions a laborious effort. While waiting for his coffee he knocked a book off the nearby table. Unable to reach the ground and put it back in place, the man had to tell the barista. As he electronically wheeled to the door, coffee in hand, he had to turn to my friend and me, asking for one of us to open the door.
Two requests for help in the span of merely a few minutes.
Yet, in his inability I saw strength, the strength to know his needs and ask confidently for others to meet them. It cost the barista nothing to reach down and pick up the book. It cost my friend nothing to push open the door. It only cost the man the self-acknowledgement of his own need.
Perhaps he is lucky, his need is obvious. Yet we all need. We are all crippled and under grown in other areas of our lives. As much as we wish for self-sufficiency we simply cannot do it. We need our friends to listen to us and observe our lives. We need them to witness the day-to-day and validate our existence. We need others to pick up the figurative books that we drop on the floor and for them to push open the doors that would remain shut due to our inability, both from the shortness of our limbs or from the fullness of the things we carry. We need God to tell us who we really are because we cannot see ourselves clearly and the world around us just screams who we really are because we cannot see ourselves clearly and the world around us just screams lies.
How do you need other people?
Why is it hard for you to ask for help?
How do other people need you?
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