Tuesday, October 27, 2009

question of the day

when is enough truly enough?

now, that can be taken several ways- but here's where my mind has been going- when is helping others crossing the line into enabling? when do you overstep and instead of building character- you build dependence? i know more than a few families who have a setup this way- helping out the kids even when they are grown with families of their own. i have heard from the lips of a couple of people- 'it isn't the little kids fault and i don't want them to suffer'- um, yes, but that's the life their parents chose for them- and you stepping in and breaching the gap isn't really helping anyone. food, water, shelter, clothing? how much should people give to others- and what constitutes true need?

i was thinking of abandoning blogging because i just don't have politics in me anymore. it doesn't matter to me anymore- but there's something about human nature that nags at me and puzzles me. the one question 'why?' has nagged at me for years and was the biggest reason i went into the business of psychology. biggest reason i got out too because damned if i ever figured it out. you put your hand in fire and get burned- why do you keep putting your hand in the fire? are there really that many masochists in our culture?

oops- that was more than one question :) any answers?

update:

i put this in the comments and then decided to put it out here as it tends to get buried there:

mmmm.... my thought is- you put your hand in the fire once and then you find a different way of doing things :)

to expand on the question- hope is all well and good but you can't continue to be the hamster in the wheel and continue along in the same vein if it's enabling. my thoughts have been more along the lines of parents and grandparents bailing out children and grandchildren time after time...

should you continue to financially support grandchildren if the parents chose a lifestyle where they are unable to provide? should you see that your children and grandchildren have everything that they want so that they don't know want? how long do you support adult children and grandchildren?

i have friends and family in these situations and i am just curious because my thought is- once you are an adult- you have to sink or swim. you get help or a leg up once and then- you change your pattern or you are on your own.

thoughts?

8 comments:

Spadoman said...

I give a lot to my children and Grandchildren. I know I have been guilty of enabling at times. Earlier on in my life, I have done some things and realized i was enabling. I do think about what i'm doing, but I also choose to give when I feel like giving, whether it is enabling or not.
Go check out Beth's Blog and a post about the GOP Facebook page and the pictures they posted. There is a good picture that shows Mother Theresa giving food to a small child and they call it enabling.
Frankly, I fell if I can make a life better, especially a life of someone I am close to and love deeply, like any of my Grandchildren, I will do so. I don't even consider the fact that their parents aren't giving them the thing I want to give them. Someone may say that this "gift" would keep them from getting it on their own and therefore teach them that everything comes easy and all that, but I believe they see the generosity and learn from example as they watch me "walk the walk". I prefer to give away that which I worked for, but hopefully teach in the process.

Peace.

Robert Rouse said...

As someone who gave up blogging about politics for nearly a year, I know what you're talking about. However, one should always be prepared to be pulled back in because of a particularly troubling story. For me, it was the 30 Rethugs who voted against the Franken amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill.

I suggest slow down or take short breaks.

Dave Dubya said...

Giving is not so much the problem as taking. Giving and grateful acceptance can be nourishing, mutual, and regenerating.

When taking for taking's sake enters the equation then the dysfunction sets in.

(Word Verification: crazed)

Dave Dubya said...

...Now where was I before I was distracted?

Ah yes. I meant to add...

The problem with politics is it always has a way of coming around and biting our ass.

And to your last questions; yes, insanity is rampant.

landsker said...

Hi Betmo,
Not sure where the line is, between enabling, or building dependency...but although having nothing would be a pain... the idea of having prosperity and no-one to share with is even worse.

As for the politics, well, yes, it`s definitely a fire, and it will burn with or without the attention of bloggers.
Allowing it to burn unchecked might be unwise, as would be sitting too close...
Whatever our purpose in life, I`ve heard it said that if you can help just one person less able, then the world will improve for all of us.

Georg said...

Bonjour Betmo,

Writing about politics is kind of letting off steam and most of those writings are about bad politics, not about the success stories.

It is one of my beliefs that each nation has the government it deserves. If a large number of politicians are kind of con-men that this is so because the ordinary people are of the same kind but with less power and influence. How many times I have heart "I would do the same if I could". And the simple little everyday things point into the same direction.

In a nutshell: let's get better and we'll have better chiefs.

Building character of grown ups is like nation building: changing Afghanistan into Switzerland or transform a lazy teen into a workaholic: keeps the donor happy.

Georg

Beth said...

you put your hand in fire and get burned- why do you keep putting your hand in the fire?

hope.

betmo said...

mmmm.... my thought is- you put your hand in the fire once and then you find a different way of doing things :)

to expand on the question- hope is all well and good but you can't continue to be the hamster in the wheel and continue along in the same vein if it's enabling. my thoughts have been more along the lines of parents and grandparents bailing out children and grandchildren time after time...

should you continue to financially support grandchildren if the parents chose a lifestyle where they are unable to provide? should you see that your children and grandchildren have everything that they want so that they don't know want? how long do you support adult children and grandchildren?

i have friends and family in these situations and i am just curious because my thought is- once you are an adult- you have to sink or swim. you get help or a leg up once and then- you change your pattern or you are on your own.

thoughts?