Why Needing People is a Gift

Why Needing People is a Gift April 8, 2023

{Photo by Vanessa Brown for Scopio}

{For the beginning of this series, click HERE}

Last week clouds parted and heavenly choirs let loose in the Willamette Valley, and I took my first walk in a month. I’m usually a brisk, determined walker. But I walked three blocks in the time I normally walk ten, wearing my cushiest slides for shock absorption. Many daffodils were on display and I shared a stare-down with a squirrel who was apparently unfazed by my presence. That’s how slow I was moving. But this walk actually signaled improvement. A week ago, I wouldn’t have dared.

Although a week earlier, I did venture a short bike ride, a relatively non-jarring exercise, but with my pained hip joint, it was difficult to raise my leg over the bike. For the ten minutes I rode, I remembered all the bike riding I did as a kid. My friends and I biked everywhere in our small town of Red Bluff, in northern California—over freeway overpasses, across town, down every possible side-street in our neighborhood. A bike was freeing, and as familiar as any appendage. On this day a week ago, I rode slowly, cautiously, worried my reaction time would be too slow in case of a mishap—my joints too painful to move quickly. That child on a bike never could have imagined the difficulty I’d one day have on a bike.

The flow of generosity

About four years ago, just before the pandemic, I moved in closer to family, leaving the coast for the valley. The pleasure of this move was compounded by being closer to beloved nieces and nephews. A nephew will come soon to help with needs in the garden. This also reminded me of childhood—of times I helped my grandmother, who was disabled; or a family friend who cleaned house with my help, setting a timer to see how fast we could finish the work.

{Photo by Vanessa Brown for Scopio}

My husband and I recently discussed generosity as a value, and I shared my view that generosity must and does flow back and forth. Yet somehow it is harder to be on the receiving end. Still, I recognize all the ways I experienced deepened relationships through giving or helping, and the same from being helped. I look forward to being in the garden alongside this nephew coming to help me, a nephew I don’t know as well as his siblings.

Needing people is a gift that opens us to deep connection. But our needing people is also a gift to them. It jimmies open doors of independence that often keep us shut off from relationships and connection.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they will ask for help.

Blessed are the lame, for they will need relationships.

Or as someone else said:

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

And so forth.



{Find the next article in this series HERE.}

Roughly 52% of Americans live with chronic illness. If you know someone who might benefit from this series, please share.

Wren, winner of a 2022 Independent Publisher Award Bronze Medal

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