Friday, 21 August 2015
August 21, 2015 Chautauqua
One day, three or four years ago, a very nice guy held the door of the post office open for me so I could manoeuvre the stroller containing my niece through the door. I thanked him and he replied, “Life is easier when someone holds the door for you.”
I remembered his words because they are so true. Whether it is an actual physical door someone is holding open for you because your hands are full, or just as a courtesy, or whether it is a symbolic door, life is easier with the assistance of others.
Yet, that is easier said than done!
We are often readily willing to hold doors, of various varieties, real or otherwise, for other people. Who hasn’t helped someone out at one time or another just because you were there and able? However, we are often unwilling to allow others to do the same for us. We fear and shun the kindness of others. Why?
On the flip side, there are those who demand that other people hold doors for them and yet they are not willing to reciprocate or even acknowledge the assistance they have received. They too fear the kindness shown to them. Why?
What is it about kindness that we can find so threatening?
Why do we tend to feel that we don't deserve help, or that we are being a burden and inconveniencing someone who offers assistance?
Or, is it that we fear that we will be required to reciprocate in a way and means that we feel we are unable?
Our society prizes, and promotes, independence to an almost fanatical degree at times, yet, we can’t do everything ourselves, no matter how much we think we can. We can only exist, and thrive, in community. And community requires interacting and assisting others around us.
We have lost so many of the small societal courtesies that were a part of everyday life for ages. Those little courtesies that some considered demeaning and condescending and wanted the world to stop. Yet, they weren’t demeaning. What they really were was a sign that someone cared enough to show kindness to someone else. Do you still care?
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