In a Hole

This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.

A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’… and the friend jumps in the hole.

Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’

The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.’

Noël, Season 2 Episode 10 of The West Wing

I’ve been down here a few times now.

Sometimes, there’s a wish that someone will appear and help me out, but it isn’t necessary any more. You know that adage that states if you teach a woman to fish, she’ll feed herself for a lifetime? Having been taught to save myself, nobody else is required. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a secret wish someone will appear and be heroic. Occasionally, the unexpected does take place. However, when all is said and done, the best happy ending remains in my own hands.

Trying to teach other people to save themselves is a pretty thankless task. I watch people get angry at even the suggestion this is possible. How could others possibly understand just how unique and special these people are. How dare someone suggest that helping themselves is the answer. Maybe that’s why nobody makes it down the holes any more. The Health and Safety consequences are, quite frankly, appalling. Risk far outweighs reward. Jog on. Let it be someone else’s problem.

Learning to save yourself matters.

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