Dependence!

Dependence is not a dirty word!
Independence is not the be-all and end-all!

We live in a fragmented world
The nuclear family has taken the place
Of the extended family
The elderly are placed in ‘homes’
Children leave the nest and sometimes
Settle in other cities and countries and
Their children grow up
Without the love and attention of their grandparents

Our communities are fragmented too
Neighbours talk to neighbours
But only sometimes
Neighbours help neighbours
But only sometimes

We have forgotten how to ask for help
Thinking we should be able to manage on our own
Thinking that asking for help is a sign of weakness
A sign of lack of independence

Not realising that when we ask someone for help
They can come to us for help when they need it
Not realising that when we ask someone for help
It’s a gift to them as well
We are giving them an opportunity to be of service
And that intimate friendships are based on mutual support
And mutual assistance

We have forgotten that it’s through mutual support
That we can accomplish great things
We value independence and have forgotten
How dependent we are on each other!

For me, it’s good-bye to independence
Hello to mutual support and intimate friendships!
Good-bye to trying to do everything on my own
Hello to building a support network!
Good bye to going it alone
Hello to reaching out and drawing others
Into the circle of my friends!
Good bye to loneliness
Hello to building community!
Good bye to fear
Hello to hope!

Together we are stronger!
Together we are happier!
Together we can accomplish more!

Lida Berghuis
August 31st, 2014

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