COLUMN: Columnist reminds readers: You are special and needed

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By John Lapp

When in your life did you feel that you didn’t need anyone?You might have said, “I can do it all myself.”
When did this happen in your life? What took place to develop this thought? Now, some of you at some point had to ‘fend’ for yourselves when you should have been able to depend on others to help you. This can happen when the adult or adults have virtually abandoned the responsibility to care for you, so you were forced to grow up and survive by taking good care of yourself, or you may not have survived. Those of us who were privileged to have others in our lives as we grew to adulthood have little knowledge of what this must have been like. And, we should try to understand that you had to take care of yourself.
But, for the sake of the article this week, I want to develop for you why we really do need each other.
None of us are living on an isolated island in the middle of the ocean being fed coconuts courtesy of the monkeys who climb the trees and drop them to us. We live in neighborhoods, in families, with friends, church gatherings, workplaces, etc., and it makes good sense when we can admit that “going it alone” is sometimes very lonely and often very difficult. What follows are some helpful reminders of our needs for one another.
How important are you to others? More than you think! Here are some excellent descriptions, some of which I came across in my readings several years ago and added my own parts over the years, which addresses this subject with remarkable insight:
• A rooster minus a hen equals no baby chicks, Kellogg minus the farmer equals no corn flakes, if the nail factory closes, what good is the hammer factory?
• Jack without Jill would have been a tale without the rhyming/humorous — probably tragic — end of the tale.
• Who is Simon without Garfunkel?, or Sonny without Cher?, or Laurel without Hardy?, or Martin without Lewis?
• Paderewski’s genius wouldn’t have amounted to much if the piano tuner hadn’t shown up.
• A cracker maker will do better if there’s a cheese maker.
• The most skillful surgeon needs the ambulance driver who delivers the patient.
• Rodgers needed Hammerstein, and Barnum needed Bailey.
The point is that you need someone and someone needs you.
Now, to take it a little bit further, just think back to some important people in your life who have made, or are currently making a difference in your life and how much they mean to you. Because some of these people did something with you or for you, you are aware the impact that made on your life. You have an opportunity to make an impact on the lives of others.
Here are a few reminders that may trigger some thoughts: Maybe you remember a special teacher among all the teachers you have ever had and that teacher stands out in your memory. Why does that teacher seem to jump to the surface of your memory compared to all the many teachers you have ever had? Probably because you somehow felt connected to or with him or her, and maybe he or she does not know the impact that was made, but you sure do.
Maybe it was a kind neighbor, or a church Sunday School teacher, or a coach, mentor, tutor, a special friend.
In closing, I hope that you have recognized the overall purpose for this article, namely that since that person or those persons made a difference in your life, why not pass it on to others that you also want to make a difference in the lives of others. Star now, because we really do need to need each other. You are important to others! The endeavor will be worth it.