By Sam Maracic
I tend to disagree with that sentiment. Somewhere along the winding road of human development, society veered off course. Our sense of navigation went awry, and amid a mix of disorientation and “progress” came the dangerous notion that strength should be solitary. That it should be defined by one’s ability to act through adversity without the influence, aid or awareness of another. That at its very core, should exist only self.
When we are born, we are born to face struggle. We learn to fall and to fumble, occasionally crawling our way from one point to the next. At times, the act of picking ourselves up extends far beyond discomfort. It tests and challenges us, demanding every ounce of strength we possess until finally, we return to a standing position. From these moments we hope to grow stronger and more capable than when we began- and usually we do.
But what about the times when we don’t?
What about those dark, unspoken circumstances that render us utterly incapable of getting back up? What happens when, try as we may, the climb just seems too steep?
Well I’d like to think, that we happen.
“We” in the most collective sense of the word, steady the ground beneath one another, providing a gentle reminder of what it means to keep going.
Or at least, that’s how it should be.
It seems to me that our innate need for human connectedness has been severely misinterpreted. Assistance isn’t wholly synonymous with reliance, and yet, all too often it is presented that way. Like failure, growth exists as a powerful result of our humanity, but in every single sense, so does our impulse for empathy. Whether we physically can get up on our own or not isn’t what’s important, it’s that in times of hardship, we shouldn’t always have to.
Our world is filled with gray matter. It exists in the form of questions and hopefully once explored, transforms into something like discovery. So it is no wonder, that at times each and every one of us has struggled. Whether the result of an external environment, internal battle, illness or all of the above, no human should be made to feel like it isn’t okay to ask for guidance while seeking what exists between the black and the white. When we limit one another from either soliciting or accepting help, we confine human lives to an unnatural place of stagnancy. We remain forever crawling, carrying our pain along with our battles and maybe most tragically, do so all in the midst of retreat.
And so, while the notion that “therapy” (in a strictly clinical sense) is for everyone may be false, the belief that we do not all require each other’s aid in some capacity or another, is not.
Strength isn’t an act to be exclusively performed alone. It is to be transferred and cultivated among each and every one of us, until both the crawling sufferer and sound, helping hand, can walk in pace, side by side.