Friday, January 21, 2011

When I Can’t Help You

It’s a problem for you, that I can see,

Despite your wanting to rue, it’s not the same for me,

Sure I can empathise and even hold your hand,

But the issue I’ll not prioritise, I hope you’ll understand.

Still you may come to me, in a state of worry and distress,

Expecting me to rescue, to play the role of redress,

Again I must reiterate that’s not how I see my place,

Instead with you to recognise, I’ll encourage your issues to face.

Scared you might be at that news and that I sure understand,

Nevertheless beyond your views, in your circumstances you must stand,

And if that’s accepted, and I hope it is, along we can go together again,

For times in life that make us most are responsible women and men.


Despite the harrowing mess we make of some of our relationships, rescuing people from their problems is not a good overall idea—from the aspect of wisdom.

Wisdom this way is the manner of how things turn out. Rescue someone from their handling of the problems they face and they’ll come back again; they’ll not learn their destined life lessons and a dysfunctional pattern of resolution is set up.

What Rescuing Isn’t

It’s clear that we can take tough love too far. What rescuing isn’t is important to recognise, for there’s hardly a better blessing than being an encouraging mentor in the lives of less sturdy others when they need us.

As the poem reflects, we can stand there physically (or spiritually) with those who are relying on us, but we cannot do the thing for them.

A balance is reached between supporting and rescuing. The person is inspired to ‘go it alone’ so they may taste the spoils of their victory, having spent a premium of courage to get there. This is indelible learning; a thing never to be understated.

This is particularly relevant when raising children or supporting a subordinate we’re in relationship with. Support is not doing things for people. That’s a hard lesson I know.

Faith for the Future

Whenever decisions are made for others’ longer time benefit—especially when they don’t see it—it takes faith; for a time some way off, sometimes many years, or a decade or more. Minding the moment in responsibility should be the focus.

It takes strength to maintain a healthy resolve. And such faith will be rewarded.

In the meantime, we need to distance ourselves from too much pondering about ‘what they’re going through’. The lessons being learned now are not much different to the types of lessons we learned, i.e., the hard way.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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