So how are you doing? Everything going well? No issues? No needs?

Everything’s alright. How are you?

And just like that the conversation flips back to the person asking the question. And any issues or concerns continue.

I’m not suggesting the response to a general greeting (How are ya?) needs to be a litany of medical, financial, life problems and so on. That just might result in less people greeting you. However, we all get by with a little help from our friends. And life isn’t always a quiet slow-moving river.

Sometimes, rapids appear out of nowhere and we find ourselves doing our best to just stay afloat. And way too often, we don’t try to find some help. Why?

Pride is a huge obstacle. Pride is great in its place, but when it interferes with maintaining a positive life — not so much.

It’s said it’s better to give than receive. It’s also easier for a lot of us. In our communities, there are people, organizations and agencies that consistently help folks find resources. And many of these same people are somewhat reluctant to accept the same help.

I know how it works. You’ve made your way all your life. You paid your own way. You had a career (or not), always worked (or not), served your country (or not). You’re still willing to jump in and help, but when it comes to receiving it, well…

In our arena, we often hear statements like:

• Other people need the help more than I do. (Yes, but others also need it less.)

• I’ll never accept “welfare” or charity. (Welfare is a dated and undefined dynamic. Most of what we used to label as welfare is actually services that we have already paid for.)

Why did you pay taxes and what were they used for? OK, taxes are law and no one showed up at your home asking for donations to Social Security, right? We earned Social Security by paying taxes, and we don’t usually hear people refusing it.

Social Security isn’t the only social service funded by our taxes. Think of the various state and federal programs that could help you get through a tough time — you paid into them. If you never require them, great. If you do need them, please use them.

Maybe you need help short-term. Maybe long-term. Maybe you just need to know where to look, or to have someone work with you through an issue. We can’t provide every needed resource. We can make the connections. We can provide information.

So — how are you doing?

Information & Assistance

Long Beach: 360-642-3634

or 888-571-6558

Raymond: 360-942-2177

or 888-571-6557

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