Several years ago, I heard a remarkable story – its message is so powerful that it remains forever engraved in my mind as being noteworthy and worth remembering always. You will soon realise why.
“One day, it so happened that a tiny village was totally washed away in the torrential rain that caused flash floods, with a devastating impact on the lives of the simple, poverty-stricken villagers. There was widespread panic and as disaster struck a dire note with each passing hour, they watched helplessly as their huts were swept away in the flood, one by one.
The floods were deadly and people were scrambling (swimming actually) helter-skelter in the rising water, looking desperately for some form of refuge. Many people died that day in the horrific torrent of the flash floods. However, not everyone gave up hope – a few people started using their small fishing boats as a last resort means of transport, in the onslaught of the fierce deluge.
One man desperately tried to save his life by climbing quickly onto the roof of a house that was still standing – but it too was on the verge of collapsing at any moment. He prayed fervently to the Good Lord to help him in these crises circumstances and to save his life.
The man waited and waited anxiously – to no avail. A boat passed by but the man kept praying for help. He did nothing more to help himself. In this way, at least three boats passed by – the men in the boats were willing to help the man but the man relied solely on the aid provided by the Benevolence of his God. When the man continuously refused to accept help from his fellow-neighbours, the boats sailed by passively – pushed fast onward by the ever-increasing, incoming tide, adding to the woes of the screaming villagers.
The man on the roof became soaked to the skin and in despair, he felt that God had abandoned him. Meanwhile, the ferocious current swept the flood water higher and higher till it reached the roof of the house where the man was crouching fearfully.
Needless to add that except for the people who chose to help themselves, at great odds to their well-being, all the other villagers perished in the deluge that day.
The moral of the story is simply this – ‘God did indeed hear the man’s pleas for help but no one can help another who chooses NOT to help himself first.”
A beautiful story, isn’t it? Remember it well and don’t ever forget it.
Today, I will use this story to portray one very crucial facet of our lives that often goes ignored – in pretence of well-being – with devastating consequences for oneself and the people around us.
The human body isn’t just made up of flesh and bones; it is as much made up of our thought processes, reasoning & intelligence, emotions and feelings.
Just as there are illnesses that affect our physical well-being, there are an equal amount of illnesses of the mind. Many people hesitate to speak openly of the latter – more often than not because mental illness is deemed as being a stigma by society at large.
The fact remains that mental health issues need prompt and proper medical treatment, just like any other physical ailment – yet, people with such health problems rarely seek the help of a qualified counsellor or a medical professional.
The first step to healing is ACCEPTANCE OF THE FACT THAT HELP IS NEEDED. If you choose not to help yourself, then, believe me, nobody else can help you. If you are strong enough to accept that help is needed, then take active steps to seek aid for yourself. HELP YOURSELF FIRST; THE REST WILL FOLLOW SUIT.
It’s really sad because help nowadays is easily available and at hand, yet people will choose not to help themselves by accepting it. It’s no wonder that mental health issues like untreated clinical depression have led to a host of problems- especially an alarming rise in the sheer number of cases of suicide. The current, difficult circumstances of the pandemic have worsened matters tremendously.
Sad but still true, isn’t it?