We Often Think We’re Helping Others By Giving Them What They Want Or Think They Need But Not Allowing Them To Do It For Themselves Often Hurts Them More Then It Helps.
A 30 year old man in upstate New York had to be summoned to court by his parents this week. Because they had already served him multiple eviction notices which he disregarded and continued to stay in their home rent free. Good for the parents finally taking action to set this man child free. However it’s about a decade too late and how do you think he learned this behavior in the first place?
We live in an era when we are constantly enabled by our parents, our technology, and by those closest to us. We learn how to be helpless. If you are given everything through out your life, do you think you will ever develop necessary skills or the belief that you have to work for these things? No, you’ll just go on believing that everything should be handed to you. You won’t see that someone does in fact have to work to pay for your existence. You do others a disservice if you are constantly giving them money, or food, clothing, and shelter. Yes a loving parent will always take care of their child. But at some point, say when the child reaches an age of self sufficiency, which ultimately should be around their teenage years. You have to begin to apply some tough love. Make them work for what they have, charge them rent, show them what the real world is like. Do it gradually at first and show them how it’s for their own best interest. Because if you wait too long, it may just turn into a debilitating phobia. One that will see constant struggle throughout life because they were never given the tools to live outside the bubble you built for them.
Recently this happened in my home state. The police were called into evict a man in his 50’s who had been living in this home with his mom his whole life. She had passed and the father wanted the son out of the house. He had a large cache of weapons he had collected over the years and when the swat team came to evict the man. He killed himself but not before setting fire to the house first. The man would rather die and burn down his only sanctuary then have to participate in the real world. This is an extreme example but this is how the man was raised. We’ll call it extreme learned helplessness. It’s the same thing that happens with addicts. We give into their request so often, thinking we’re helping them but ultimately we hurt their chances of improving. If we provide them with everything they request or we think they need, they don’t have to put any effort in to achieving anything for themselves. This applies especially to money. However if they need help for recovery, do it, but keep tight capital controls on the funds and make sure it’s strictly going to where it’s best suited for that.
Really we should all do our part to be self reliant and help those around us to do the same. We help others by guiding them, first to self sufficiency, then to self reliance, ultimately putting them on the path to self mastery. Where they can, in turn, guide the next group of individuals.
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