Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Help by not helping....

My rant today is about when you somehow get caught up in friends or family's problems. It happens to all of us from time to time.....because we do care about other people, there is something within us that wants to help them solve thier problems. We also have the benefit of seeing a situation from the outside so the temptation is great to give advice, whether solicited or not. It is my opinion that if we get involved and "help", we are wrong. We can make things exponentially worse, lose a friend, cause problems, and wind up spending too much energy on other peoples lives instead of our own. That is bad enough but I think the worst thing is that BY TRYING TO SAVE SOMEONE THE PAIN OF THIER DECISIONS AND CHOICES, WE PREVENT THEM FROM LEARNING WHAT THEY NEEDED TO LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE. Much like we allow our children (hopefully) to make mistakes and learn from them, we must also allow our friends and family members to do the same. A lesson learned from personal experience is much more powerful than a lesson learned from words. Chances are, our friends will need this knowledge later in life and to deprive them of it now is doing them a great disservice on top of all of the other negative things that are likely to come from being too involved. While the "answers" may seem obvious to outsiders....it isn't the answers that are important, but rather the lessons learned in finding the answer. You follow me? Think of it like a math problem...you can give a person the answer and show him the work that got you there but if you don't teach the person how to do it him or herself, the next time they come across a math problem, they will have no idea how to solve it. Again, it isn't the answer that is important....its the lesson along the way. I have learned many lessons the hard way....my mom will tell you that....but I don't have to learn them twice! Some people are blessed with the ability to see what others go through and ffigure out a way to not have to do that. Then there are people like me...I am my own pilot, I learn from my own experineces much more often than advise from others, and I learn the hard way nearly every time. No easy button for me! If there is an easy way and a hard way, you can bet that nearly every time, I will go the hard way. If anyone had tried to save me from learning the lessons I have learned from going the hard way, they would have cheated me out of being the person I am today. I will also say that one of the "hard" lessons I have learned is that my mother has wisdom....if she speaks, listen....chances are I will learn something. There a couple of spoken lessons I learned from my mom that are big ones....they are also ones that if I had to learn the hard way, I would have had regret....so I am thankful that I was able to listen and learn those particular lessons. Ultimately, we each have our own lessons to learn in life and if we try to protect others from thier mistakes, we are really preventing them from learning. So the next time your friends and family come to you for advice on a problem....consider telling them that you love them enough to listen and allow them to find thier way on thier own so they can learn thier lessons in their way and in thier time.

1 comment:

  1. I don't have an Easy button either. I am like you in that way. I went thru many trials in my life, but its how we handle them that matters. And you are right, just listening is really what they need - not for us to tell them what to do.
    Have a great day :-)