Our culture seems to be one of "I can do it on my own", of fierce individualism and a stubborn will to make it on our own (or is that just my family? I don't really know). This attitude makes it tough to 'break down' and let others help when it's needed. Many other places have extensive safety nets made up not only of immediate family but of extended family, friends, neighbors, and the community as a whole. That is not a frequent enough occurance here, as far as I can see. And that's too bad. Call me a hypocrite (as is quite apt), but I think we'd be better off acting communally instead of being so independance obsessed.