In the last two months I have been in situations myself and with an elderly and close family member - both of us in dire need of help. Here is what I learned: people are generous in WANTING to help; they will come and say that they do; the offers
are warm and sincere. Then the reality arrives.
The reality I am beginning to observe is this: the people I know who want to help already have tightly packed and scheduled lives. Their offer comes from a generous heart that is already tied up, hour
by hour, most days. So when the need for help arises in a way that can't be scheduled, (often much of the time) the generosity falls away. My 86-year-old aunt needs to move; this is a scheduled need over which she has little control. Initially many family
members said "I will help" until one of us started to schedule the day that the move must take place: some can't come at the needed time; others can only stay an hour or two - all at different hours...you know how it goes. So professional movers had
to be hired.
In a scheduled life such as most of us live, there is a growing gap between deeper values and committed time. This winter has brought it into my field of vision, and I want to pay attention to it more deeply, for it causes serious
conflict both with self and with others, not to speak of the isolation that the one needing help ultimately experiences. I have no answers or solutions to this; I am only opening the question.