Help Yourselves - Are We Too Into "Self-Help"?
Sometimes I wonder if the "Self-Help" industry - worth about $10 billion in this country - mostly offers us a way to climb the social ladder where the least needy, the most self-sufficient, and the biggest multi-taskers rule at the top. Think about all the self-help messages out there, from personal growth, to personal organization, to personal fitness. Much of it is about making yourself better, by yourself. Of course it is sometimes about genuinely becoming a more loving, more other-oriented person. It can be rewarding and fulfilling to think of creative ways to enhance your life and the life of others (I do write a lifestyle blog...) But sometimes I wonder if we're supposed to learn to help and support ourselves and others as much as possible, because needing too much help from others is a sign of weakness. I remember calling someone when I was having a really hard time managing home life... I didn't know what to do I was so overwhelmed. They said to me, "I think that maybe this is a bit of an overreaction... are you seeing someone?"
If you think about it... our role models, spiritual leaders, and business gurus are always people who seemed to have made it on their own - always givers, never takers. We speak about them to make them sound as self-sufficient as possible. They literally came "from nothing". They rise early, they always cross off their to-do lists, and they tirelessly offer their services, wisdom, and time to others. Or do they? Maybe it's just that we say and believe that they do, because we don't want this ideal to die? Maybe we want this image to stay alive, so that, maybe one day, there is hope for us too?