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Where are the Good Samaritans?
I have not gotten over the fact that I have not posted on this page for over two months not because there was nothing to post, but I have not been composed enough with my time to do the needful. I have been transiting from being a mother of one into a mother of two, God is so faithful to us; He blessed us with another baby in May and I have being undergoing lots of changes in this season of my life which I will share with you in another post.
I was still musing over my lack of discipline to stick to the posting plan when I received a call from my girlfriend expressing genuine concern over a mutual friend of ours. She wanted me to check the Facebook page of our mutual friend. When I did, I was shocked, empathy rose from within me as goose bumps appeared on my skin. I was shocked because I didn’t expect it to happen; sad because, it could have been well managed instead of getting to Facebook, if her good Samaritans had been at alert! The Facebook posts of our mutual friend suggested that she was relapsing and that she had no control over her thoughts.
What happens when a bipolar patient experiences a relapse when his/her care givers or loved ones are not within reach? I vividly recall when I had a relapse in my ultimate year in the university. I remember feeling on top of the world! *Laughing*. I felt so good! I was reading so hard to improve my grades, socializing carelessly, making every effort to dress to impress people around me; I felt very special and got easily offended if anyone said anything my way that I interpreted as an insult. These were subtle signs of manic relapse!
During lectures, I would ask very intelligent questions that got my lecturers excited and they’d noticed me. I really felt so good, people began to notice me, and I ‘socialized’ easily. To me nothing was amiss. But there was a Good Samaritan who knew something was not right because she knew my natural response to life and identified a clear difference from the timid, disoriented girl she used to know, to the one she was discovering. She was a course mate, who lived in the room opposite mine, she knew about my bipolar diagnosis, I had disclosed it to her in a civil conversation and she was committed to watching my back.
Rather than go about broadcasting my state of health, she informed my father by putting a call through to him. My dad thanked her and asked her to accompany me home immediately. As she walked into my room that Sunday morning, she said, “Precious, we are going home today, get a few things in a bag, let’s go!” She pleaded with me not to argue with her, that she was acting in my best interest.
Intuitively, I knew what she was talking about and began to cry, accepting the fact that I was relapsing and I was to be admitted in the hospital for bed rest for at least a month! And that was exactly what happened. I spent a month in the hospital, cut-off from the rest of the world, without any means of communication.
Each time I remember that scenario; I shiver and wonder what would have become of me if she had not stood up to the responsibility of a Good Samaritan! You are not out of place if you are deliberating over who a ‘good Samaritan’ is, considering that the phrase is commonly misused these days.
From the enchanting story recorded in Luke chapter 10, verse 30 to 36, I realize that a Good Samaritan is a ‘neighbor’; a person who is compassionate and willing to extend himself/herself on behalf of others, propelled by love – God’s kind of love – to see a positive change in a given situation. In Martin Luther King Jr’s. words, “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But…the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”
A Good Samaritan has the capacity to display uncommon compassion even in the face of severe hostility. Sadly, sometimes when people perceive that you are nice, they tend to take you for granted and make a ridicule of your niceness. This has led to a dearth in the availability of people with good intentions.
Again, I ask, “Where are the Good Samaritans? Are you one of them?” The world needs us to step up to the challenges and limitations that poor mental health poses. Help guide.com, a trusted non-profitable resource suggests that, “With swift intervention, you may be able to prevent an episode of mania or depression from developing fully.” We need to make conscious efforts to observe, note and proffer solutions to the questions around us.
Imagine what would have become of me, if I didn’t have anyone looking out for me while I was at the verge of a relapse back then in school? Receive grace from above to positively impact the lives in your world, by being a Good Samaritan.
Heavenly Father, I come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need; Father, make me a blessing and a source of joy to many, in Jesus Name, Amen.
www.helpguide.org, www.goodreads.com, Luke 10: 30-36