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Would You or Wouldn't You?

     A bonus question, he said. We'd answered all the Biblical questions on our Bible Study guide and Bob wanted to get our opinions on what he called a totally unrelated question. Of course, being the considerate people we all were, we told him, "Go for it!"

     Seems at an undisclosed workplace an employee came to work hoarse one day. Everyone assumed, of course, that he had laryngitis, but after several months of hoarseness, some brave soul asked him what was going on and it turned out that he had had throat cancer all this time. He had chosen not to tell anyone. "So," Bob said, "the question is, if you had something like that, would you tell? And why or why not?"

     We went around the table. The first answers were unanimously, "Yes" and their why's were pretty much because the person would want their loved ones to know; because they would want comfort; because they might need support. I was getting worried. Would I be the odd one? Would I be the only one saying, "No?"

     What would you do? You can't believe how relieved I was when I heard the first person say, "No. I wouldn't want to be a burden on anyone. I would just take care of it myself." Relieved, yes—but also very much humbled. My "why not" wasn't so admirable. My turn hadn't come yet; there were two more people before me. I hardly remember what they said, I was so deep into thinking about what my answer would be, but I seem to remember that one was a yes and one was a no.

     My turn came. Being at a Bible Study of course I had to be honest, so I told them my first reaction would be to hide whatever it was—as I've done several times in the past—and just get over it on my own. Maybe I'd tell everyone later. "But wouldn't you want comfort?  Wouldn't you want support?" the Yes-es asked. "No, I just like to take care of things myself. If I had only so long to live, then I'd tell, but otherwise, no." "Really? Why?" they asked.

     No one was wrong or right on this. We all have our ways of handling adversity. But as I thought about telling you about this, I began to question myself. Why would I want to hide it? Why didn't I want support, comfort? I have answers now that upped my self-awareness, some of them shocked me, some of them surprised me, some of them I've known all along.

     So here goes—why I would hide it:

a) I believe I can take care of most anything myself;
b) no one can fix it for me; only the doctor and my actions;
c) I'm too proud to accept comfort. I don't want that kind of attention;
d) I'm too proud to let people know I'm sick or weak;
e) when I'm talking to friends and family, I don't want to talk about sad, negative stuff. I'd rather talk about happy things so if they don't know about it, they won't talk about it;
f) it isn't that big a deal, whatever it is, because my life is happy, no matter what happens, and I want my friends and family to be happy—not sad about my being sick or injured.

     So that's it for me—for better and for worse. What would you do?

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