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Accepting Our Dependence

A single friend of mine with back problems recently had to get a steroid injection. He wrote to me (and invited me to publish) about his experience:

I am normally a very independent person and don’t ask for much help from other people. For this situation I had to ask a favor of one of my neighbors, for a ride to and from the doctor’s visit. I felt bad asking but my neighbors were very happy to help and didn’t act as if it was any trouble at all.

Maybe that says that I am too independent for my own good? Maybe the ‘rugged individualism’ of the American persona is a problem itself in that it can add to the breakdown of normal society? Maybe we need to balance our independence with the reality of our interdependence on others? It makes me think about my choices and behavior a bit while I am sitting around and recuperating.

Does this resonate with some of you? I’m pretty sure it does. But you tell me.

Before you do, let me add a couple of thoughts. It can be hard to accept that there are times when you’re dependent on other people, especially when you’re a long-term single and those other people may not be there. It also can be hard to accept being dependent on God: No matter how much we try to make our own way, with or without other people, we can never do it without Him. And even Christians often do try to do it without Him.

OK, now it’s your turn.

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About the Author

Matt Kaufman

Matt Kaufman has been a columnist for Boundless since the site’s founding in 1998, and did a stint as editor in 2002-2003. He’s also a former staffer and current contributing editor for Focus on the Family Citizen magazine. Matt is a freelance writer/editor who spent some years in Colorado, but gave up the mountains for the cornfields: He now lives in his hometown of Urbana, home of the University of Illinois. His house is a five minute drive from the one where he grew up, and he enjoys daily walks around the park where he used to play baseball.

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