Recently, I had a minor surgery on my back, which required me to go to the hospital. One of the hardest parts for me was being helpless. They brought me food to eat and wheeled me down the hallway. I couldn’t even set my own back pillows. And honestly, it made me feel weird.
Why is it so hard to let others help us? It can make us feel funny because we tend to be people who like doing things for ourselves. Getting any form of help makes us feel like people don’t think we can do it for ourselves, and that’s embarrassing. It makes us feel like we’re a weight on everyone, and maybe even make us think that they are judging us.
I think I have a simple answer to this issue: Pride.
When we want to be self-made success stories, the thought of anyone helping us along the way takes away from our greatness. And your pride makes you want people to know how great you are all by yourself. But the truth is that no man does it all by himself… Young man… put your pride on the shelf. And just go there, to the YMCA…
Sorry, I got sidetracked.
If you follow me on Twitter, then you probably know that a lot of stuff in the news annoyed me from the 2012 Presidential election. Both of the major parties were looking for ways to attack the other. A random line from one of President Obama’s speeches was taken out of context, fueling a mass response from the opposing party. They didn’t like how Obama implied that they didn’t build everything they had for themselves. Thus, we started seeing tons of signs and chants claiming, “We built it!” Apparently, no one helped them do anything.
No matter what your thoughts are on governmental affairs, it’s clear that Americans don’t deal well with someone else getting any credit for their accomplishments. And it all comes back to pride. I think they could have just held up a sign that said, “We are arrogant and insecure!” That’s the message I picked up from it all.
The truth is that we all need help. If you’re like me, you need it daily. And I’m tired of feeling like there’s something wrong with me for it. I’m tired of my pride telling me that I’m weak for it. You know, Jesus set the church up to function as a unit, or a Body, with each part supporting all the other parts. When we get pride out of the way, it’s not embarrassing— it’s beautiful.
Recently, someone sent me two $50 gift cards to restaurants around DC. I don’t know who the person was because they didn’t sign their name. They just sent me a letter saying that they loved me and wanted to bless me. My initial reaction was “Wow! So cool! Brittany, let’s get dinner!”
But then my pride starting talking to me. Pride started telling me, “People must really pity you right now. You’re unemployed, and people don’t think that you can feed yourself.” Do you think that the giver’s intent was to make me feel insecure? Of course not. They just wanted to be kind and show me love. Leave it to pride to take kindness and wreck it. I shortly thereafter realized what was happening and told my pride to shut up. You have to talk to pride like it’s an idiot, because it really is an idiot.
Most of us believe that it’s better to give than to receive, but we have to learn that it’s all right to receive as well. If no one was ever willing to accept anything, then no one would be able to give anything. And that could create a time paradox, the result of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe! Granted, that’s a worst-case scenario. (Please someone tell me you got that reference.)
I think it’s hard to get rid of our pride because the opposite of pride is humility. And humility can hurt if you’re not used to having it. I’ve found in my life, though, that if I don’t humble myself, someone or something else will end up having to do it for me. We have to train ourselves to get out of the way. There’s no shame in people helping people. I believe that you could even call it friendship. And I’m always up for building that.