From the moment we start our lives, we rely on the generosity of others to help us through life. Most parents provide for the needs of their children while they grow up. It makes a lot of sense since as tiny humans we know nothing and can literally do nothing for ourselves. It’s no wonder we cry so much as babies. But along the way, the baby grows into a child. They soon realize they must learn skills and how to think for themselves if they are ever going to make it in this world.
Having a safety net to fall back on is very reassuring. However, it is not a good long-term plan to rely on, for multiple reasons. For starters, being self-sufficient as much as possible is the right thing to do. Also, any number of things can happen that could impact the security of that safety net. Challenges arise along the way such as health issues, emergencies, etc. Even worse, the people you come to rely upon may not always be there. They may leave on their own choice or may not have been given a choice at all. Either way, things change and often do so in the blink of an eye.
It’s like riding in a car that is near the end of its life. Sure, it still gets you from point A to point B but you never really know how much longer it will last. If the car breaks down, it could happen in the wrong place, at the wrong time. You have options. For starters, if it ever broke down, it might happen while your friends are in the car and they can get out and push the car to a safe place. Or, if you have money you could call a tow truck, should the car leave you stranded. There is another worthwhile option, working hard at saving or earning extra income to be ready for the next purchase.
It’s great to have generous people in your life. But always relying on their generosity will eventually wear them out because it’s hard enough to take care of oneself and/or one’s family. It becomes extremely difficult when the person accepting the generosity has the means to do more for themselves. Resentment and bitterness will start to set in when a person continually makes sacrifices for someone who is able to do more for themselves. If you start out on a hiking trip with someone and they injure themselves, you may be able to carry them but only for a while. If they start feeling better, you expect them to get off your back and carry their own weight.
It is sometimes hard to accept, but the simple truth is, some people in your life may need to start carrying their own weight. Supplying their every need when they are capable of doing more for themselves, is wrong. It robs them of something amazing – purpose. You have carried them long enough that it’s time they figure out how to carry themselves. Even as much as you care for them, you may not always be able to do so. Then, after you are gone, what happens? They may be completely on their own, with no one to back them up. Life may be brutal to them. Don’t let it come to that.
Start somewhere, even with small steps. Eventually, like when a parent takes the training wheels off their child’s bike, you must let them “learn to ride” on their own. It may be scary at first but when they finally do it on their own, there will come a feeling of self-reliance that will boost their confidence like nothing else can. Then you will not have to worry about what will happen to them after you are gone. Eventually, you will witness them taking care of themselves. Who knows, in time they may create their own thread of generosity to save another in their hour of need.