This week's prompt obviously fits with the work I do with people who find themselves living on social assistance. Money, and lack of it is obviously a constant theme. Because I am not at liberty to open up the coffers of the government bank account and dish out some cash, I often feel hand tied when trying to help an individual. However, there is something I can provide that costs nothing financially. And in return, I am offered gifts which also doesn't have anything to do with money.
This is what I decided to write about tonight. And over the next couple of weeks, I plan to post a few stories of the people who have played a role lately in offering me the gifts of my lifework..............my reason for being. I would like to include a half dozen of their stories tonight, but the post would end up becoming a novel. What I do know is that their stories will never leave me..................their stories are a part of me I want to expressly share.
I need you.
You are needed.
We may not even be cognizant of striving for those moments of validation. We may think that our actions are performed because we just want to, or we feel obligated, or because it's the right thing to do. But you know what? We do them because we have a desire to feel like we are needed.
What happens if no one needs us? What if we NEVER feel needed, or that all of our needs are met by others due to the circumstances we find ourselves in our lives, and there is never a chance to reciprocate? Why are those words so powerful? Why do we long to hear them?
Because deep down, we all have a need to be needed. Perhaps hearing these words and feeling validated is what makes life worth living. Perhaps knowing we are needed by others keeps our hope alive, especially when the whole world around us seems so dauntingly depressing. If I know I'm needed, I want to get up in the morning again and again.............I want to partake in the life of my community.
I have a REASON to be.
In his book, "Man is Not Alone," Abraham Heschel elaborates on this idea. He proposes that there are many things in life that human beings need in order to survive. And yet, planet earth would carry on because it doesnt need us.
"Who is in need of man? Nature? Do the mountains stand in need of our poems? Would the stars fade away if astronomy ceased to exist? The earth can get along without the aid of the human species. Nature is replete with the opportunity to satisfy all our needs except one -- the need of being needed."
WE need to be needed. It's what gives our life meaning.
It doesn't matter if you are the poorest person or the richest person in the whole world. It doesn't matter if you are healthy and independent or living in chronic pain dependent on others for your care every single day of your life. It doesn't matter if you live in a palace surrounded by luxury, servants and someone who draws your bath, cooks your meals and chooses your wardrobe, or if you live on the street with no home to go to. It doesn't matter if you are you or I am me. WE all live to fulfill our desire to be needed.