It was a still evening last night, and as I sat in my lounge doing some reading I could hear a pleading voice outside. There was difficulty with someone feeling upset and not wanting to talk. The parent was obviously worried about what may happen next. Oh, the dilemma. Do I ignore or do I go out and see if I can be of any assistance. I found it really difficult to know.
We live in a world where self-sufficiency is the aim of the game. Some people can walk out of one room into their garage, hop in the car, open the electric roller door, drive out, close the door and arrive at their destination without any chance of human conversation. Some people do not know who their neighbours are. In many ways we live in a world that seems to be moving away from community.
I know that I like to be self-sufficient. I like to be in control. I like to be able to look after things myself. But is it a good thing? Yesterday in the staff room there was a really interesting conversation where a few people were discussing the way love makes us weak, the word vulnerable was added and yet it was suggested that there is strength in love. That in many ways love is the mystery of life. Self-sufficiency can actually get in the way of being able to love and be loved.
I found it very interesting and personally challenging that self-sufficiency is on the ‘don’t’ list of wholeheartedness. Maybe it stops us from relationships? Maybe it stops us from giving the opportunity for others to be part of our lives? Maybe it stops the sense of community and kindness that can flow?
I have gone a step further to think of my parenting and teaching. Yes these kids need to be self-sufficient, but how are we balancing it with giving them the opportunity to be helped and to help others? I’d love to hear what you think.
(So, did I go outside…I peeked out the window, waited and prayed with my daughter. The situation seemed to resolve but maybe I need to be ready to visit?)