Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Don't go it alone...

Helen Keller said, "Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light." I don't think we ever count on walking alone through life, but there are times when we can be in a crowd and still be "alone".  It is truly a hard thing to learn to walk alone - because we lack the stabilizing force the other's hand offers, their balance creates, or their persistence with us getting it right affords in our repeated efforts to walk!  


Two are better than one because a good return comes when two work together. If one of them falls, the other can help him up. But who will help the pitiful person who falls down alone? In the same way, if two lie down together, they can keep each other warm. But how will the one who sleeps alone stay warm against the night? And if one person is vulnerable to attack, two can drive the attacker away. As the saying goes, “A rope made of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 VOICE)

A good return comes when two work together.  I would have to say a good return comes when two "walk" together. When two are walking side-by-side, they may not be together - they are simply "next to each other".  To truly walk together may be best symbolized by the illustration of actually walking in the footprints left by the other.  We don't blaze our own path, but set out to learn what the other has discovered on their journey.  Sometimes you will walk in those footsteps I have left before you - at others I will enter into yours.  Each of us shares those steps because each of us has so much to gain from the lessons learned along those steps.

If you have ever done this, you know you don't always see the same things, nor do you experience the journey in quite the same way the one who led the way might have.  We each have our own perspective and sense of "mindful intake" we exert as we journey similar paths - even when we appear to be totally in step with each other.  Why?  We don't always sense things similarly, and this is not wrong for we can learn from the experiences of each other as we engage in the similar journey.

Keller didn't see - she was blind - so her perception of the journey was entirely different from that of a sighted person. She developed a keen sense of hearing, touch, and other sensual intake which made it possible for her to "experience" the similar journey taken by another, but in a totally dissimilar manner.  The same is true for each of us - not because we are sighted or visually challenged - but because we have a mindset "similar", yet "unique".  When we each share how it is we experience the journey with another along on that journey with us, we benefit from the way the other experiences that journey because it is perhaps a similar perspective, but different, as well.  

The most important thing we may not realize about the journey we each experience is just how vulnerable we would have been to attack if we had walked the path alone!  There are times we think we have it all under control - spoiler alert - you and I rarely have it "all under control"!  In fact, what we view as control is probably just ordered chaos simply waiting to spin out of control at the next opportunity!  

Henry Ford is credited as saying, "My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me."  I'd have to agree. Vulnerability is the ability to be wounded or subject to attack. When I see myself as capable of being independent in my journey, I rarely see myself as being susceptible to attack - a truly dangerous position to assume in life!  When I walk with another, there is that moment in time when they help me recognize just how vulnerable I am!  In essence, they are bringing out the "best" in me at that moment - for learning to be dependent upon another is not weakness, but rather it is trust! Just sayin!