We are only as strong as the weakest among us

Imagine a family needs to walk across a river in order to get to the other side, and there is no bridge. Among the family members is five year old child. The water is up to her chin and her swimming skills are poor. What would happen in this scenario? Probably the mom, dad or a strong older sibling would pick her up and carry her, so that the whole family could make it to the other side together, alive.

Now extrapolate this story to the entire human race. We are all trying to survive in this world, but among us are some people who are struggling to make it across that virtual river of life. They may have been born poor and disadvantaged, or have suffered a debilitating injury or illness. Whatever the reason, who’s responsible for making sure we all make it as best we can, this human family of ours?

There seem to be different philosophies about this.

1. “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps”

This is the attitude which says, “I cannot recognize drowning when I see it, or I do not care.”

2. “Only help your own family and friends”

These folks seem to be saying, “I will only help people who I personally know, like and care about.”

3. “Help everyone”

This is the philosophy of those who see that we are all connected, who understand that if the left hand is bleeding, the right hand should put a bandage on it, or the whole body will suffer the consequences.

Have you considered where you stand and why?

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A Bunch of Questions Designed to Provoke Thought

Look at your life circumstances, like your health, wealth (or lack of). Did you chose them? Look back at the series of events that got you to where you are today. How much were you really in control?

Some say that people need to make good choices if they expect to have a good life. This POV downplays the role of one’s background, environment or family and instead prioritizes self-determination.

Do you think people in dire straits have made poor choices, or were they swept up by forces outside their control?

Does it scare you that people can get swept up by forces outside their control?

If you admit that others might not have had a choice about whether they went bankrupt, contracted AIDS, or became refugees (for example), is it then scary to admit that these these could happen some day to you or someone you care about?

What if true strength comes from learning to navigate the stormy waters of life’s unpredictability with acceptance? What if instead of judging yourself or others harshly, you just accepted what has happened and what is happening?

Photo of Some people having a blast letting life take them on a twisty ride

Some people having a blast letting life take them on a bumpy ride. Click the pic to learn more about where this.

I don’t claim to have any answers, but I think the questions are worth asking.