Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Sense of Help

"There is something strangely winning to most women in that offer of the firm arm; the help is not wanted physically at that moment, but the sense of help, the presence of strength that is outside them and yet theirs, meets a continual want of the imagination."

- George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss


Richard said...

That also seems true. I always wonder why women, when they have a man in their lives, seem to suddenly want to depend on him.

b said...

Richard...I see this working both ways, actually. Part of me despises feeling vulnerable and dependent when in a relationship. But then I believe that naturally, when two people come together in a relationship, they become more dependent on that "power of two." I don't necessarily see this as a weakness or flaw. I think there is a beauty in a degree of vulnerability and dependence. I think that challenges and requires far more of a person than independence.

In America, individualism is highly esteemed but I do not see this as an entirely good virtue. I think that a sense of self and autonomy is crucial, but individualism often breeds a mentality of, "I don't need anyone,"/"me against the world," and there is a great danger in that. I think that can limit one's compassion, appreciation of humanity, and sense of community. It often isolates individuals and differences become highlighted, rather than similarities.

Ancilla said...

in my point of view...
when a woman comes to others, share her life and even crying maybe...
it doesn't mean that we want to hear a way out which may solve her problems.

sometimes, we just want to know that we are not alone to face this world.

about individualism... for me, nor of individualism or communalism is higher than others.

the good position for everything is in the level "balance" or "enough". enough is just enough, not more or less.

*hey b, how are you there?

b said...

Ancilla...so good to hear from you! How are you? I am doing better and better these days, thanks.

Yes, it is comforting to know that we are not alone and I think that both men and women seek that comfort out in often different ways. I agree completely that balance is essential. We must each have a healthy degree of independence and sense of self, as well as a healthy degree of cooperation and a sense of community.