Grechen Wingerter, the president-elect of our WUUC board of trustees, and her family are going through a difficult time. Her daughter Megan has had a serious bicycle accident and is still in process of recovering. Members at Westside have been rallying around to provide both material and moral support for the family in this difficult time. The outcome is still uncertain, but I know that Westside will be there for the family to continue that support.
Often, I need to be reminded of the benefits of being in community. I personally have a tendency towards introversion, plus a stubborn “go-it-alone” attitude to dealing with my problems. When I get into that frame of mind, I forget that a problem shared is a problem halved.
In Britain, when I was growing up, there was great nostalgia for what they called “The War Time Spirit”. The disasters of war brought communities together in such a seemingly miraculous way that decades later people were still talking about it and lamenting its loss, despite the associated hardships. We have a similar feeling in the recovery community, of closeness born out of shared pain: “We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue from a shipwreck when camaraderie, joyousness and democracy pervade the vessel from steerage to Captains table.”
In times of major upheaval, the illusion that can do everything on our own is broken down, and when it is, a marvelous thing that lies underneath is revealed. The reality of our interdependence. It comes with a feeling of belonging and connectedness that can be a true blessing in hardship.
Of course we don’t have to wait for war or disaster to appreciate our reliance on community. By being open to our human vulnerability and giving and receiving help on a daily basis, the rewards of our very human need for connection can be served in the every-day challenges of life.
Go in peace.