Tag Archives: survival

Reflection: Needing Others

What I believed until about five minutes ago:
Nobody needs anybody else. I mean, sure, we like having certain people in our lives and cannot imagine our worlds without them. But we can and will survive without their presence, and they will and can survive without ours. It’s depressing and we don’t like acknowledging that our relationships are not necessary, lasting, irreplaceable. We get used to people. Their presence in our memories makes them appear to be essential characters in the story we call Life. Without the characters and their interactions with ourselves – we cease to believe in the existence of the story, and in the lonesome state, we discard the value associated with our own character. Regardless, we live and breathe on. The innate desire to live ignites our fallen spirits, and we find happiness in other places. We build new relationships, and once again – we believe we need them. Perhaps it’s difficult to admit that we are creatures forever solitary, and thus, we attempt to forge needs – and with them comes an irrational dependence on mortal relationships.

What I believe now:
Needs are those things which are required for our well-being. Needs are not necessarily only the substances and conditions we need to simply survive, but also conditions under which we have the ability to thrive. When one is in “need” – one requires some sort of relief. Therefore, needs are not clearly defined. So do we need certain people? Yes. We need their love, compassion, their friendship. We need their perfections and flaws, we need their criticism, thoughts, support, and presence in our lives. We know we need them when they are not present – we feel it, we hate it, we ache for their love. Although life goes on, regardless of their whereabouts, we know something is not right when they are gone. Just because we learn to live without them, doesn’t mean we don’t need them. As much as we tell ourselves that we can be completely independent, I don’t think we ever actually believe ourselves. Life is this unifying experience – we’re all new to it, we don’t really know what we’re doing, and we don’t really know where we’re going. We’re in it together and we need each other, because even though happiness is a personal endeavor, it’s easier to find when surrounded by those who have become indispensable to our worlds.

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Thoughts from a messy mind: Lessons Learned from Henry

June 3, 2011

He swims and splashes

Without a care in the world.

He makes a scene when he wants his water changed

And he stares when he wants me to feed him

Now tell me that fish are not intelligent creatures.

I feed him, I love him, I care for him.

He trusts me.

It took him a while – in the beginning, he would sit at the bottom of his bowl, facing the window.

He wouldn’t play, he wouldn’t  play his little game of bubbles.

He just sat, and sulked.

It made me sad to see him so sad.

I thought of returning him to the store tank, full of fellow goldfish.

But the thought of returning him to that gross tank, where his friends float upside down within days..scared me, made me change my mind.

I thought of getting him a friend, but his bowl is just too small for two fish, and there was no way I had the time to manage a full on aquarium.

So now he was sad and I was sadder.

And I felt like there was nothing I could do.

So I went on making sure his home was clean and he was fed – the basics of survival.

A few weeks passed, and Henry began to trust me.

His dependence on me for food and clean water was obviously one of the reasons.

But I believe he began to know that I cared for him – because I provided him with his needs every single day.

He plays with me, and he likes to show off how fast he can swim when I’m near his fishbowl.

I can feel his happiness, and it makes me smile.

“Calm down, he’s just a fish” – that’s what my friends and family seem to tell me everyday.

No, he’s not “just a fish.”

He is my very first pet.

I assumed responsibility for him, and I have succeeded.

This new responsibility shows me how dependent all living things are.

Yes, humans may be “intelligent creatures.”

But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters for our physical survival is food and a safe environment.

We may be able to invent all sorts of cool, techy things, but without the basics, we are pretty much hopeless.

I am dependent on God.

He provides for me. I trust Him.

Not only does He provide me with the basics, but he provides me with friendship, wisdom, and love.

His provisions are immeasurable.

Why not trust and befriend the one who has loved me first, who will never, ever leave?