Thursday, July 9, 2015

Some Thoughts

I saw an online conversation in which one person with medical issues/concerns was asking for financial support. Within the group of this particular posting, the person had received a very small percentage of response from the group's participants and made that observation.

One of the members offered "help" in terms of perspective. Was the member asking for help touching others in a way that would inspire them to act?

When I saw that, it bothered me. I almost said "kinda" bothered me, but there was no "kinda" about it. It did. I can't help but wonder if those who offer that sort of advice have ever been in a similarly desperate situation, and needed the help of others.

When someone is in a really bad situation it isn't going to be pretty, and may not be particularly polite. A person in that significant of a need is likely in Survival Mode, and if you know anything about Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs, you know there is not much else that person can focus on than their situation and needs in that state.

Putting the "psychology" of it aside, if a person is also dealing with a strenuous medical situation, it is very difficult to manage even the basics of life, much less an effective PR campaign asking for help.

I have had conversations about this with people many times. I totally understand that people have a "what's in it for me" dynamic. I totally understand that other people should be considered, not just in times of asking for help, but at other times as well. Some would likely say that other people should be considered ESPECIALLY when asking for their help.

Again. I wonder how many who would be that adamant about something like that would have any real clue about what a person in need - especially with a crucial need - is going through. I imagine many who have had to ask for help for any length of time in particular probably want to just scream at some point. They can be as nice as people think they should be, as positive, put a smile on their face, and still find themselves without the help they need. It may have taken all they had, and more, to be the way others wanted/expected them to be, and they are still tettering on a dangerous precipice.

I have had people judge me in regard to my situation. None of those people have ever faced what I am facing, or anything even remotely close. I have also had people who barely know more about me and my situation than a casual observer who have found themselves questioning the judgments of others on my behalf.

It is the same me. I don't vary from forum or medium or from person to person. But what does vary is the person analyzing what they think they understand about what my situation is. And there are some people I just will never "win" with. There are people who will never think I am doing things "right" or "enough." If things don't work out, it is because I have failed in some way. I haven't figured out how to get those not on my side on my side. I haven't thought about them enough.

There would be those who would argue that a person unaware (or at least seemingly so) of others is selfish, self-centered. Well. Perhaps they are. However, if anyone "deserves" to be, it would be someone in a critical situation. It is pretty horrible when we make those in need out to be the "bad" guys. 

I truly hope others never know what I am dealing with, on any level - much less all levels. But often it seems that those who understand the most, are the most giving - AND forgiving (but least likely to forgive because they see less that needs to be forgiven) - are those who have some idea of what it is like to be on this side of things.  

I can only hope that without having to take a trip "here," others can find their way to having less ignorance and greater compassion for those in need. And, even better, be willing to assist without a bunch of strings or judgments or expectations. Others may not be able to give what you need - or give anything at all, but that is not why anyone should be giving, any way - right? 

I think we have somehow forgotten how to give without the idea that there should be something in it for us. I suspect the culture that caters to that mentality in many ways has a lot to do with it. It is so much a part of the fabric, we don't even see it.

The greatest gift you can give another is validation and respect. And you don't offer those things by giving stuff with strings attached. You don't give that when you sit back in judgment of others. But you do do that when you give in an unfettered and unfiltered way. And, nope, it is not about you. And you know what? Hope it never is.

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