Simon seems to have a problem with one of his legs. So he is using a crutch just to support himself when he is walking. But upon close observation, the legs look OK. It’s not like something was broken or anything. Or at least there was no visible injury. When you talk to him, Simon tells him a story about what happened, an accident when he was young. It was a bad accident and he could not walk for a while. Then he got this crutch and life has been better after that.
You are gone for a week and when you meet Simon again, you notice that Simon is walking without a crutch. You are surprised, of course and ask him how did this happen. Simon smiles and says that last week his crutch was broken. And it happened in a very busy week. He wanted to get a replacement crutch but meanwhile, he started walking without one. In a few days he got used to walking without one and soon realized that he really didn’t need one. The crutch was permanently gone.
Do you know anyone like Simon?
No, not literally.
For a few of your friends, YOU are that crutch. You are there for them when they slip and fall. You are there for them every single turn and you think that you are helping them. You have a great heart and yes, you are the darling of these friends. You are doing this because they are your friends. You never thought that your acts of short-term help over the long run will result in an involuntary co-dependent relationship.
You never thought that are NOT allowing those friends to “stretch and grow” because whenever there is an opportunity for them to “stretch and grow,” you are there with a helping hand robbing them of that opportunity.
Think about these questions for a minute this weekend.
1. For how many of your friends are you acting as a crutch?
2. What can you do to change that?
Note: This is NOT a plea to walk away from someone who needs help. It is a plea to be thoughtful when you are extending that helping hand.
Photo Credit: ScoobyFoo on Flickr