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Monday, August 23, 2010

I wouldn’t want to be any Trouble—Baloney

It’s funny sometimes how dense it’s possible to be.  I’ve sat at dinner tables and when asked if I would like another serving said “no thanks” when I’ve really wanted it.  I’ve sat at a supper table wanting a little pepper, but rather than asking someone to pass the pepper down the table, I’ve done without.  All of this reluctance and reserve was because I didn’t want to be any trouble—to call attention to my needs.  Never mind that someone worked several hours to prepare the meal and that my reserve, in view of all the work they put into the meal, was petty and ridiculous.  The whole idea that I can live out my life without causing any trouble is preposterous in the first place since I have required service in one way or another from before I was born.  The trouble I caused my parents started before diapers and lasted, in one way or another, until the day they died.  The fact that I so seldom thought of all the work and effort they did for me just shows they never complained about it.  In fact, in most cases with perhaps the exception of the diapers, they were happy to do it—even got a sense of worth and value from doing it.  And my being trouble and a burden can be seen as true for all those my life has touched, however remotely—those involved in the social system providing me with education, health, and welfare.  So if I have any hang-ups or false modesty about not wanting to cause any trouble, I should get over it since in one way or another I’ve been trouble all my life.  It’s pure fantasy to think I am, or ever have been, self-sufficient.

So at 66, it’s not too late for me to see the obvious—I can’t live without requiring help from others--it comes with mere existence.  But by making demands on others and concurrently providing service to others a mutuality of effort and rewards exits.  It becomes a nexus of service that helps hold together human relationships and society itself.  In fact I have come to see it as an offense if I refuse to give others the opportunity to serve.  Following the Golden Rule, I would not want my efforts at help and service to be rejected or even obviated—I get too much sense of self-worth out of being able to give a gift or to offer a hand.  Likewise, I should graciously accept help or gifts from others--not overly agonizing about my dependent role.  To so agonize can be seen as a little silly if not downright selfish.

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