“If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” – Ecclesiastes 4:10
Watching children learn, grow and mature is like the magic of observing a caterpillar transform into a butterfly. Take for example our number three granddaughter, Corrina, who like most children began to declare her independence at around age two. “I do it myself!” has been her mantra about almost everything. Now we all know, of course, what’s about to happen when a two year old insists on, say, pouring her own milk. Yeah, better grab for the paper towels. But recently we’ve noticed her attitude starting to soften, indicating perhaps some maturity as she approaches age four. She doesn’t seem so quick to “do it myself” and even welcomes having a little adult help. Crossing the street, for instance, she reaches for our hands rather than resisting us grabbing hers. Don’t get me wrong, Corrina hasn’t figured it all out yet. What four-year-old has? But there are signs of a butterfly emerging from our little caterpillar.
“People – people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.” Remember Barbara Streisand belting out those famous lyrics in the Broadway musical “Funny Girl”? The fact is all people need other people. But the lucky ones – or should we say the wise ones – are those who have figured out that our Creator specifically designed life for companionship, not independence and isolation. We need each other to lean on and depend on, not only to survive but to help us become our best and most productive selves.
As my parents got older I noticed they held hands or locked arms more often, probably for physical support as much as showing affection. To love and support one another for rich or poor, in sickness or health as long as they both shall live was central to their wedding vows. It also modeled the behavior God had intended for all humanity.
We are not here on earth to serve ourselves, but to serve God and others so “if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” People who need people are the luckiest people in the world, but people who truly know the value and joy of companionship are the richest and wisest people on earth.