Sometimes people just need a helping hand…

I was able to be a helping hand for a friend yesterday and the impact was enormous.  I was thinking about this in terms of what climbing is.  Climbing is one of those sports that is best learned through apprenticeship, however you want to look at it.  Climbing is something that requires actual experience under the watchful instruction of a more experienced climber in order to teach the inexperienced climber the skills and have them practice them to the point of mastery with the experienced climber.  Even after mastery, we always do partner checks every time we tie in, etc. for safety’s sake in case someone happened to make an error so that everyone is protected and stays alive and well.  Everyone that climbs has, at some point, needed a helping hand.  As climbers, we are always giving each other a helping hand, no matter the sub-discipline or the level of expertise.  I think that’s part of what makes climbing the unique sport that it is!  We are all our own climber – every one of us must climb our own route and fight our own battles – and at the same time, we need someone to teach us, train us, belay us, watch us, and make suggestions to better our performance.  We need each other to be well-prepared as much as we need ourselves to be.  It is a fantastic dynamic of community and individual, and a great example of what we can achieve by working together cooperatively, no matter what our level of experience.  We all represent climbing.  We’re all mentors for someone.  We’re all climbers.  And we should always be willing to lend that helping hand to others who want to be part of what we are and and what we have.  After all, we wouldn’t be where we are individually and collectively if someone hadn’t done that for us…

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