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Posts Tagged ‘help

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sa...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If we agree that helping others when they are in need is one of most important ways to show kindness, can I propose, that it is impossible for those who are not able to “notice” the situations where others are in need of helps to offer helps, thus it is impossible for them to be kind?

In a couple of my previous posts I mentioned how I lost a few life time friends of mine during my middle age hazard. I also said I moved on, and I did. However, the recent unexpected visiting from one of these friends inevitably brought the issue back to table, and I just have a few more words to say, before I move on once again.


Despite of my tremendous joy to see my old friend, during our brief meetings, the frequently unpleasant remarks made by her about my chronic condition subdued my joy. To put it simple, not only she had no intention to know what exactly happened to me during past years, but also she tirelessly tried to “encourage” me to be “mentally tough” (even though lots of these remarks were made completely out of contexts), as if she had known me as a person who could never handle hard situation. At first I was only confused, later on I realized, despite the fact that we had not been together for over 20 years, she somehow already held a strong belief that my middle age health trouble was “mental”, so in a way I “exaggerated” my hardship. This belief was so strong that it was almost impossible for me to have any rational conversations with her. At the end, I had to think (or deduce) that the reason she held such headstrong belief of me might be also because it’s only way she could be free from feeling guilty for her not offering anything during my adversity, as I was always there when she needed (I also suggested this “idea” in my email to her after she left). This is selfishness, and it happened in my dear friend whom I knew since high school and kept friendship for over 30 years, I felt extremely disappointed.

But the real hard, or “wicked” part of this frustration of mine is this: deep inside me I know she didn’t mean to be so selfish. That’s why I tried so hard again and again, to explain, to save our friendship. Oh how I wish that she was just mean spirited or evil possessed, which could make me to move on by one “clean cut”. The fact is, she is simply incapable of some very simple logic reasoning, and her extremely limited life experience also made it impossible to understand my “story”. So at the end, I was angry, she was stupefied.

I think, most people are only capable of understanding things that they have experienced, or things under their scope of intelligence. That’s why humans are mostly divided by experience and beliefs. However, my experience told me, it is during those times when we face things outside of our experience and beliefs (or knowledge), can we truly tell whether we are open-minded or not.

My middle aged hazard was extremely unusual, it costed me not only health and financial wise, but also friendships, which were extremely important to me back then. I have no regret whatsoever, as I did nothing wrong in my communication among my friends, and I still believe they all are kind persons. However, this unusual experience did provide me an opportunity to learn human nature, to see how such kind persons could do “unkind” things under extraordinary context. This experience also taught me that in most life occasions, there is no clear boundary between good and evil, kindness and selfishness. Relativity, really is what I would consider as a general truth, at this point of my life.

About the question at the beginning of this post, my answer is positive: yes, a true kindness does require some intelligence. Good motives are not enough for this world free from evil. That’s why through history we see only wise people stood sidelines of massive stupidity, even cruel disasters, many of which might not take place had there not been participation of thoughtless majority.

It seems to me, that nowaday many people tend to relate intellectual ability to vice, believe that kindness is something independent from intelligence, but this is really not what my experience tells me. I think we should never underestimate what good intelligence can do, what evil ignorance can commit.

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I say “God is just” is another convenient excuse for practice of selfishness, because if God is just, why do we have to help the poor? That’s God’s will!

Another argument for religious people on this subject would be, letting some people to be poor so others can help them is one of God’s lesson, or “design”, in order to let people to learn kindness. Really? How about those helpless, those who died in pain, suffering without cure? And is the lesson of kindness really worth thousands, millions sacrifices of life? Would those who were burned alive agree that their excruciating pain (actually I doubt “excruciating” is enough to describe how they felt) was a means used by God to educate others? If so, I would say this God is either unspeakably cruel, or incredibly dumb. Or both.

Help me!
(Photo credit: mariateresa toledo)

During my relapse I am extremely debilitated so I often need help. But, I am living alone, also I happened to be a person who never learned how to ask help. What’s worse, I am a person who doesn’t look like need help. My relatively strong body build, my absolutely decisive countenance, my firm stride as long as my health permit me to be vertical, all these qualities make girls want to depend on me, guys want to leave me alone. This, also is why I better live alone during my chronic condition.

I have been in major relapse since June, and just started recovering since recent several days. This morning I feel almost perfect so I wanted to move several gardening stones (small size like football!) back to my backyard. Trust me, this is far less than a piece of cake for anyone in normal health condition, but for me, it is a serious task, so serious that I planned to do but have not touched it for days due to the fact that it might trigger another crash, which also could cause the cancellation of my weekend classes, on which my current income depends. Anyhow this morning I felt I could do it, at least I could do part of it. I also had my strategy, first to put several stones in my small dolly and push them to backyard. Plus, the fresh morning air was tempting, so I put myself in action.

Right after I put about 5 stones into my dolly, I realized that I was again overestimated my strength. Half way to my backyard there is a small slope, and I realized that if I “pushed” myself to pull the dolly up, I might have big trouble following up, and my weekend classes will be again jeopardized . So I decided to stop right there no matter what. But my dolly was right in the middle of lawn, between my house and my neighbor’s. Just as I was wondering what to do, I saw a guy was knocking my neighbor’s door, so I asked him if he could help me because I had heart problem. Since I was already breathless, my voice was extremely weak. He looked at me and said: I too have heart problem. And he lifted his shirt to show the scar on his front chest. So I immediately said never mind.

What happened the rest was that I struggled to move the stones one by one to my “territory”, which is only a couple yards away from the dolly, then I took the dolly back to my backyard, and after that I immediately went back and lied down for a little while, let my heart back to normal function. So far, I don’t feel big trouble but, I already could not cook lunch as I planned. I decide to boil some dumplings instead, because it costs almost no energy at all.

Thing is, I believe that guy could help me. Though he does have scar on his chest, but from his attitude, his loud voice, his brisk stride, I can hardly believe that he could not handle what I asked. Why didn’t he offer me help? I don’t know exactly, but based on my past experience, I have reason to believe it was because I did not convince him that I needed help. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I happen to have a relatively big build, don’t look fragile, so I generally give people an impression that I am a strong person. During my past years, I just cannot count how many times I had to handle things I was actually not able to handle, and caused my crashes sometime relapse for days or weeks, and these disasters could be avoided only if people knew how serious my health trouble was so they could give me a hand. But I am very proud person, I would rather die than having people pity me, or misjudge me. Thinking that people would take my weakness and my asking for help as “mentally weak” would simple kill me. Truth is, this character of mine certainly contribute its huge share on worsening my health problems.

Of course, after lessons and lessons, I have learned that I need to take it easy on how people think of me. It doesn’t matter. I also should learn to be responsible to my body, my health. It’s the only thing my life rely on. If I need help, I may should just ask. As one of my blogger friends said, asking help is being responsible to yourself.

On the other hand, I can’t help but feel so disappointed about some of our fellow human beings. The selfishness, the distrusting each other, and many more negative aspects of human nature, just darken my view on life. And sometime, I just cannot help to have such a strong sense about myself, that this earth is not for me, simply because I am too good to be here.

Call me cynic!


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