The story goes that a man claimed to be God and was brought before the Caliph, who said to him, “Last year someone here claimed to be a prophet and he was put to death!” The man replied, “It was just as well that you did so, for I did not send him.
While having a quiet laugh at this, I thought back to the times that I attempted to play God. Yes, I attempted to solve people’s problems and become a ‘provider’. So I became the person who gave them my time, my money and any other help I could to get them out of their situation. And for a time that felt good. Until, they became parasites – and wouldn’t allow me to lead a normal life.
I’ve seen it happen with someone else I know. Her sister was having marital problems, so this person began to pitch in to help the sister emotionally and financially and with also helped with the three children. She was single and had a good job so it wasn’t really a problem. She became the aunt who gave her sister’s children treats, who bought them expensive presents, who cooked them special meals. One day, she was joking with the children (now closer to their teens) and said: ‘Hey! I’m getting married.” And the children’s faces fell and they looked very displeased. Their first question was: “Who will buy us things now?” What’s even worse, is that her sister began to see her as the Bank!!
But in both cases, I think that the problem was not with the persons we helped, but with us. Somewhere, deep within we wanted to be needed and acknowledged. The needs of the others became a way of getting our own needs met. (Not for a moment am I saying God works this way!)
So am I advocating that we don’t help people out. Absolutely not. Rather, I’m saying that our help should be given in an unselfish way and it should eventually lead to people being empowered enough to find their own solutions.
The best anyone can offer to give people is effective tools they can use to solve their problems themselves – Tara Springett
A lover of words. A self-acceptance blogger. A blogging coach. A book reviewer. A woman happily journeying through midlife, moving from self-improvement to self-acceptance and enjoying being herself.
Corinne writes at Everyday Gyaan, reviews fiction at CorinneRodrigues.com and encourages writers and bloggers at Write Tribe and offers offline coaching to writers and bloggers at The Frangipani Creative, located in Secunderabad, India.