I feel I must respond to Paul McMullen’s article “Strong, silent – and sad.” I think he missed two important thoughts about self-sufficiency; first, the strength that is considered is the self-motivation to do what is right, to press on, never give up, to help yourself as well as your fellow human.
Second, the silence is the inward ability not to blame others, God, or other things for your problems.
The “Strong and Silent” has nothing to do about not asking for help. All through American history strong men and women have asked for help from others, banks, churches and governments. The problem is when some expect that they should have help for everything, even when they make bad decisions, and then when they do not receive it, they are at a loss to deal with problems and unfortunately turn to drugs, alcohol and even suicide.
To tell young people to grow up not trying to be self-sufficient is part of a large problem we have today. Many are becoming simply dependent on others to take care of them. Yes, I want a country of people that are self-sufficient but also understanding that asking for any kind of help is OK and will be returned with love and kindness.
May 23, 2013 CatholicReview.org