This post was inspired by one of my mother’s closest friends. You see, my mother has always been baffled as to why he won’t accept the help she’s been offering him. She thinks it’s because of his foolish pride. She pities him, yes, and she also looks down on how his life turned out to be.
My mother has sincere intentions for him, and to me, she’s one of the most generous people out there. What strikes me, though, is the disconnect between them. My mother thinks his pride is out of place, on the other hand, I see him as someone who simply prefers to live his life by his own rules. He’s a free bird. He thinks that any help being offered comes with a leash – and there is also some truth to that. Who can blame him?
Freedom comes with a price – and sometimes it doesn’t look all pretty. All of us who have chosen this path of freedom in one way or another know that we need to give up certain comforts to be free.
To others, including my mom, it only looks foolish. Why would someone prefer that? To someone who depends on human connections and validation for spiritual nourishment, this really won’t make sense. But we aren’t wired the same way. Some people thrive on independence and solitude.
It’s always a good thing to offer help to someone out of sincere intentions. What will happen to us as a society if we don’t have generous people around?
But help won’t be taken, and won’t be of much use if we don’t meet people where they are; if we don’t offer the kind of help they need.
If we really want to help others, and we know we can, we should see them for who they are first – dignified, free and loved.
We cannot help others in genuine ways if we are looking down on them. We have to honor their principles and support them in their dreams. We cannot go around imposing our opinions of what is right or wrong and expect to be trusted.
We cannot make helping others a project – just to get that kind of feeling good that we believe in.
And if the help we offer is not taken, we should have the maturity to respect that decision. This doesn’t diminish anybody. Even the Divine respects our freedom to choose and ask for help on our own terms – exactly because we are entitled to the life we are living, and we are enough and perfect as we are. We should have the same attitude towards each other as well.