Bill Withers’ classic 1972 hit “Lean On Me” hammers home the truth that there are times in our lives when “we all need somebody to lean on.”
It doesn’t take much effort to come up with examples. After all, everyone has had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day at some point (and, more likely, several points). That’s just the nature of life – ups and downs.
Of course, there are times when “leaning” on one another is more than just support during a bad day.
Sometimes, the support we give others is done so in a much greater degree. And this is usually given for those who are closest to us, our loved ones.
If you think about it, we could say that children technically lean pretty heavily on parents – especially in the early years. (And then they start to lean pretty heavily from financial and “car borrowing” contexts in the teen years…)
As time passes, parents might need to lean on their children during the later years.
Putting the parent-child relationship aside for a second (but hold that thought), married couples also rely on each other for support. This support is the cornerstone of the committed relationship. This is the kind of support we may need as we grow old – which is usually the hope for committed relationships! We see older couples walk out of the office with their arms tightly wrapped together becasue of their long-committed relation, but also for the need of balance and strength. If one spouse is the primary pillar care giver and something happens to them, there would be no one to care for the other spouse. If the primary care giver neglects themselves enough, it can stop them from their mission of care.
Clearly, the whole “family structure”—no matter how you might define it—is supposed to provide assurance there will be someone there who can help when it’s needed.
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