Too Rugged

Last week I flew in and out of John Wayne Airport..  Outside the airport stands a bronze tribute to "The Duke" which towers nine feet tall.  I'm almost convinced that if you listen attentively, you will hear "Pilgrim" and "Howdy Partner" sound from his lips.  From the 1920s to the 1970s, Wayne captured the attention of movie goers - even winning an Oscar in 1969 for "True Grit." 

Why did Wayne - or more aptly, Wayne's characters - receive such fanfare?  Likely the reason for such a reception is the attraction to the romanticized idea of rugged individualism.  People, perhaps especially Americans, place high value on the ability of individuals to make it on their own. 

John Wayne
Jack Reacher
Wonder Woman
Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover, America's thirty-first President, touted the importance of everyone having the determination (stubbornness?) to help themselves.  I'm an advocate of "boot strap" pulling and the donning of "big boy pants."  Yet, individualism should not be held and practiced to the point of "rugged."

God's wisdom on this subject . . .

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Genesis 2:18 (NIV)

When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”
Exodus 18:14 (NIV)

Another biblical word warns against extreme self-sufficiency.

Those who trust in themselves are fools,
    but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.
Proverbs 28:26 (NIV)

Why do we need each other?  I offer reasons. 
We need each other for . . .
1.  Support.
2.  Accountability.
3.  Enhanced effectiveness.
4.  Assuring our humility.
5.  Wider views.

So "Partner" - how 'bout it?  Will you reach out to others rather than going it alone?

9 Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)


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