A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

Maclean, Norman, with a foreward by Annie Proulx

University of Chicago, 1976

p. 81

Norman Maclean’s father was a Presbyterian minister who, at one point reflects on helping people.  “’Help,’ he said, ‘is giving part of yourself to somebody who comes to accept it willingly and needs it badly.’  But ’we can seldom help anybody.  Either we don’t know what part to give or maybe we don’t like to give any part of ourselves.  Then, more often than not, the part that’s needed is not wanted.  And even more often, we don’t have the part that’s needed.  It is like the auto-supply shop over town where they always say, ”Sorry, we are just out of that part.”’”