Arranging the Pieces… We all need a little help


By Tabitha Bozeman

The Urban Dictionary defines “tribe” as a “group of people who care for you like family.”

I’ve always heard “it takes a village” to raise kids, but as I’ve aged, I’ve realized that it takes a village to not only survive life, but to thrive. I’ve mentioned before that longevity studies show having at least three people you can count on in an emergency is important to living a long life. Maybe more importantly, a support network, village or tribe is important to surviving the crazy situations life throws your way.

Last weekend, I wrapped up spring break with a broken leg and another sprained ankle. I was worried about how I was going to get to the doctor, work, feed my family and so on. Within 24 hours, friends and family had helped set up meals, doctor’s appointment transportation and delivered a wheelchair from a local church. My church reached out, too.

We were just blown away by the generosity of so many.

The generosity I experienced got me thinking about what it would be like to live somewhere you knew no one and had no connections or acquaintances. I can’t even imagine how hard that is for so many people. The thought of it makes me even more grateful for the community I am part of, where bosses and colleagues, acquaintances and fellow artists, mom-friends and educators, family and friends don’t hesitate to reach out when there is a need, whether that need is a new baby, a broken leg, a burned-down house, a lost job or anything else.

Humanity is at its best when people put aside differences and acknowledge the human-ness of one another and just help. Helping others, accepting help, paying it forward and showing the way is all important aspects of having or creating a tribe. It is a simple way of reminding everyone that we are in this together.

There have been times when I’ve donated time and effort, or food and supplies to a group effort and have felt like the little I did wasn’t even worth notice. But the phrase “many hands make light work” reframes that and reminds us that if we all do a little thing, collectively it all comes together. So, never discount the text you send or call you make. Don’t devalue the snack you drop off to someone or the pack of diapers you donate, because those moments of interconnectedness are what get us through the unpredictability and sometimes scary and painful moments in life.

Those moments are the reminders that no matter our beliefs, views, titles or social status, we are all human. Eventually and continuously, we all need help. It’s not about being too small to provide help or too big to need help, but rather recognizing our interconnectedness in life.

I am so comforted by the interconnectedness I see and experience in our community, and I hope everyone has that same experience as well. If not, it is never too late to begin cultivating your tribe or village and become part of a support network. Jump in to help, and you will be pleasantly surprised by how interconnected we all really are.

Tabitha Bozeman teaches English at Gadsden State Community College, where she is the editor-in-chief of the Cardinal Arts Journal. The opinions expressed are her own. She may be reached at

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