Why do we feel guilty, if someone who we are close to, fails in life. Guilty in the sense that we wonder if we did enough. In most countries there are rules that regulate when we can take someones freedom away as a measure to protect them from themselves. Submitting someone to some kind of psychiatric institute is probably the closest thing you can do, if you want to help. But our guilt doesn’t come from our inaction, most of the time, it comes from the help, or lack of help we gave in the period before the mental breakdown.
It is a difficult subject. Most people have a hard time taking care of them self. We all have to jump through hoops, and find all kinds of distractions to prevent ourselves from staring in the empty center we feel. We work to much, sport to hard, meditate, pray, eat bad, sleep around, get addicted to drugs and all of the above. We probably all have our distractions, even if it is living a calm life, where you don’t rock the boat out of fear, doing nothing is also a distraction.
We off course, are most of the time not on the brink of a collapse. Some say because we are over all healthy, others say that our distractions work. I personally think that we stand healthy on top of a foundation of cards. And what is healthy? I think that there is never been a person from who you could say that he or she is without flaws. For some reason we can imagine a perfect being, but we can’t imagine that there is one among us. Maybe the concept of a god comes from this idea. But we can imagine a dragon by combining different parts of different animals, in this way we can also combine all the good parts of different humans, and imagine the perfect human.
I started with asking if we can help someone else. Assuming that we are all flawed and walk ourselves half blind through life, we can, knowing this, at least try to help, and if we are lucky we can nudge someone in a different direction. This new direction might also lead to a precipice, but are not all directions eventually. I also don’t want to fall into the trap where people say that you can only help yourself. If you don’t know left from right, you need the help of someone else.*
Saying that we don’t need help is like saying that we don’t need all these distractions we cling to. Everyone needs something to hold on to, and if you lost that in yourself you can only hope that someone else reaches out.
Inspired by Day 1598.
The broken rope
I will try
to hide the rope
*I always wonder why these thousands, and thousands of different self help books that are sold over the last hundred years are not enough proof that they don’t work. You cannot fix the engine while sitting in the car.