And of course: every woman for herself. It’s used for saying that everyone needs to look after themselves and not worry about anyone else. Everyone looks out for his or her best interest. Originally this phrase expressed approval. It appeared in Chaucer’s The Knight’s Tale (“Each man for him-self, there is none other”), implying that if one did not look out for oneself no one else would.
Yes, each person does what is best for himself or herself. Yes, times are getting tougher. I think you, my dear readers, know what I am talking about. No reason to list everything again. Sometimes, there is no team spirit in this office; it’s definitely every man for himself. Neighbors would tell each other: mind your own business. The tone between us humans is becoming more and more harsher.
Some people live alone because friends and families have abandoned them. Important helpline is Psalm 27:10 for them. “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take care of me.”
And solitary survivors like Robinson Crusoe, or the hero in the movie Castaway, fascinate. But the loner is someone who purposely holds himself aloof, like the Unabomber, Mathematician Ted Kaczynski. People doggedly moving ever farther away from one another constitute hell in C.S. Lewis’ book, The Great Divorce.
Fact is – Proverbs 18:1 says: A man who isolates himself seeks his own desires; he rages against all wise judgment.
Living in community and helping one another is foundational for all who wish to follow Christ. We know from Acts 2 that the early church took this seriously, seeing many examples of believers helping one another, including materially, so that there would be no one in need within their group.
Much has been written about the benefits of strong relationships. I wrote about it at this corner several years ago. People are healthier, live longer, and are generally happier if they have strong friendships beneficial for helping and encouraging each other. And let me repeat it – especially during these tough times … .
Jim Mathis , a writer, photographer and small business owner in Overland Park, Kansas, got it to the point last year, when the pandemic started: “Personally, one big change that took place when I decided to follow Christ was shifting from a self-centered existence to community-centered living. My life changed dramatically for the better when I stopped looking out only for myself and started finding ways to help others with a sense of community. Life went from an individual sport like a race to a team sport, working toward our mutual benefit”.