If you could say out loud what is troubling you and know that someone will come to your aid, would you not say it?
Would life not be easier if you could lean on your neighbors and have them help you with your burden as you help them with theirs?
One of the primary reasons Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) works is because there is solidarity in that group, a level of companionship where someone is standing by waiting to assist you when times get hard or is there to keep you accountable on a daily or weekly basis. Just how the notion of solidarity can produce results in AA, in life, we too need one another because how many among us are in control of our own fate? How many times things haven’t gone our way? We all know what it feels like to be lost and helpless, just like an addict is, yet we keep our feelings to ourselves, not showing our emotions slowly suffocating underneath the pressure of life. That pressure can be released by a helping hand but we refuse to allow others to help us because we rarely vocalize our problems.
If not ask for help, we can at least offer it to others. That action seems to be easier, people rather help others than be helped themselves. But often that helping hand comes with some kind of price rather than genuine care for the fellow man. It’s almost calculated. What can I get out of this transaction? For this reason, many go on silently suffering for we only have love and appreciation to offer but such things don’t hold much value in our society. Rather have notoriety, fame, public appreciation, monetary reward, etc than a genuine thank you from another person.
What good is that going to do me? It’s not going to pay my bills.
While others find it hard to help their neighbors because they’re simply trying to wade through the water of life while trying to stay afloat themselves, it is difficult then to keep another from drowning when you’re at the brink of sinking yourself.
There also some who just don’t care. Dog eat dog world, such a phrase is common knowledge. Better you than me, is another one.
We slowly cannibalize ourselves because the man outwardly suffering is you and the man inwardly crying is also you.
What can we do when everyone needs help and yet only a few are ready to aid out of the goodness of their hearts? When most people are simply busy with their own lives and are unable to come together.
The answer perhaps lies in a spiritual transformation. Understand yourself and you’ll understand all of man. Then when you help another person you are helping yourself as well. It’s a nice notion and a notion that probably works because it’s been around since the ancient times. Much of Eastern philosophy and Buddhism backs this idea. However, this utopian world is unlikely to come about. There really isn’t a practical way to show people such a thing. One must discover it for themselves. But most people don’t care about such things like I said before, they are either busy trying to survive or they are busy trying to push past others towards some mountain top which they believe will alleviate their suffering.
Perhaps it’s a cynical view. But Christ preached solidarity and companionship hundreds of years ago and yet nothing really changed. The people who followed him only formed their own group and directed hate towards those who think differently. The same goes for other religions, most of which, at the core speak of solidarity and companionship as well.
Then, in a world that is more capitalistic and materialistic than it’s ever been, how can such a world be taught to turn the eye inwards and listen to their own consciousness which will allow them to listen to their neighbors? In a world where every day it seems like something new is invented to distract us and to occupy our minds, how can we learn to be quiet for an hour, turn everything off, meditate on our own true desires and needs, meditate on our neighbours’ desires and needs and see what’s worth suffering for?
It all seems hopeless.
Reference: Stand Still Like the Hummingbird by Henry Miller
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