Get help. Get help. GET HELP. Help yourself by helping others. The Lord helps those who help themselves. BE the help that other people need. If you need a helping hand, it is at the other end of your arm.
This week I was struck by how strongly we military spouses hold the idea that a “good” military spouse does not need any help. We endure. We press on. We help ourselves and anyone else who needs it.
Yet when a spouse does need help, we all think she better ask for it. Pronto. Before someone gets hurt.
That kind of confuses me. That set of conflicting values we military spouses hold about getting and giving and needing help has always confused me.
Probably because I’ve never been able to score help even when I needed it most. I am always either asking too much or asking too little. So I’ve stopped asking at all. It is easier that way. But not very effective. Believe me.
It makes me think of a military wife quote written by social commentator Caitlin Flanagan. “When people tell you to get help, what they mean is to hire help,” wrote Flanagan after her twins were born. “I needed to get HELP. Someone I paid, not someone to whom I was bound by the complications of friendship and community. Not someone to whom I would someday owe similar intimacies and inconvenience.”
I wonder if that is what we mean in military life these days? We want other spouses to go get the help our tax dollars have purchased. We have lives now that do not include hours spent helping others. If we ask for help, then we know we undertake a debt that we will have to pay off later. So maybe it is just easier to do everything ourselves?
Not really. One of our readers mentioned that maybe we can’t help everybody, but each of us could help one other person. I could go for that. Now I just have to find someone who would welcome the help I would so willingly give.