Self-reliance or Mutual Support?

The Stockport County match day programme is an interesting read.  Not only does it give information about the County players and the club, it gives information about the visiting side, its history and something about the place they come from. 

For a recent game against Aldershot they had a piece that included remarks by Aldershot’s MP in which he said that he believed in ‘self-reliance’.  The remark set me thinking.    Surely, unless you have been washed up alone on a desert island, or been left stranded in the jungle, you can’t truly claim to be self-reliant?

What did St. Paul say to the Romans about us all being members of one body, each supporting one another?

So what was the MP getting at?  He’d been in the army, where you would imagine that teamwork and support are paramount.  Was he hinting that some people are too reliant on others and should stand on their own two feet?

Imagine you are selling the Big Issue – “Working not begging” as their strap line says.  You live with your seven year old son in a bedsit and, quite understandably, would like to have  a bit more space.  A landlord is happy to rent you a small flat and you can manage the weekly rent.  However, he wants two months rent as a deposit and a further two months rent up front.  That’s £2000.

Take another scenario.  You are released from prison with £76 in cash, but no home to go to.  You hope that someone will give you a bed for the night.  Perhaps a hostel.  If things don’t work out very well, your ‘self-reliance’ might turn out to be a bit deviant.

We learn to cope with life, to take the initiative, to give and receive, to play our full part, when we feel safe, connected and loved.  Education and skills help.  Someone who can help us scrape a deposit together is useful too.

Chris Dawson

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