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Help Can Sometimes Hurt


I’m not a fan of team politics because it’s so clearly manipulative and divisive.

There’s a clear line in the political battlefield that links compassion with people who don’t have enough, and negativity towards wealth.

I suspect most would agree that wealth happens in a variety of ways, including through untoward means, but also that it happens through hard work, persistence and simply saving more than we spend.  There exists a notion that the darkness of wealth is a slippery slope. It impairs not only judgement but can create a potentially toxic ideology that can have us sitting on our haunches instead of launching into life to create worth and deliver value to the world.

While most of us can agree that those who have more than they need should help people who are truly in need, my primary concern is the impact of our so-called helping when it can actually rob people of what they might discover and become.  It can prevent them of learning lessons that can potentially help them even more. Every challenge I’ve faced has required me to problem solve, persist, learn, and overcome— often with the help of others.  I think that’s the main way we learn and grow.  Especially as a parent, I’ve learned that sometimes helping really weakens the other person. It can delay something important and powerful they might find in themselves.  We have to be very careful not to take away from others the opportunity to find out how powerful and resourceful they are.

I think we would all do well to reject the invitation to join in the ideological battle and instead, focus on how we can be more valuable to those we care about.  Whether that is through direct help or letting them learn their own lessons.

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Christy Thomas

Christy Thomas

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