Getting out

I know your intention is to take care of others. You know it too. But have you ever looked at the effect of your care?

Does the way you leap in to offer help free people, or does it constrain them? Does it accord them the dignity of their adulthood, or infantilise? Does it allow them to do what’s right for them, or what’s right for you? Does it support them in becoming skilful on their own behalf or keep them dependent upon your assistance?

And, if you’re really prepared to look, can you tell whether your constant demonstrations of care actually help them, or do they mostly keep you feeling better about yourself?

Sometimes, genuine care involves holding back, melting in to the background, staying silent, teaching someone to help themselves, listening without any further action, or – once in a while – extending your trust and then simply getting out of the way.

Photo Credit: Giampaolo Macorig via Compfight cc

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