You’re knocking on your neighbour’s door all ready and prepared with your toolbox in hand. “Hello!” you say upon him opening the door. “I am here to fix your shower head.” “My what?” “Your shower head.” You’re all smiles. “Why?” “Because it’s dripping. Haven’t you noticed?” “No, in fact I haven’t.” “But it’s dripping for weeks now, if not for months even. How can you not have noticed?” You’re shoving in heading for the bathroom door. “But what do you have to do with this?” “I am here to fix it. Didn’t I say that before?” “I never asked you though. I have my own tools, you know?” “Oh, that’s no problem. Always ready to help. It’ll be just a few minutes.” “No really, you don’t have to do this. I can do it myself.” “No worries, you’ll be so happy once I’m finished.”
Sounds like a bizarre story, right? Have you ever done anything similar?
Help is sometimes needed. It’s good if we want to support each other and if we receive the support we need ourselves as we’ve discussed two weeks ago. Yet as well meant as our help may be when it’s not asked for it’s uncalled for. People may not be aware of a particular problem in their life that needs solving the way we are. Other times they might well see it but choose not to do anything about it, for a number of reasons. Some may see the problem and instead of acting themselves wanting others to do it for them.
Barging into someone else’s life to solve his or her issues isn‘t loving kindness. It is overstepping the other person’s boundaries. It is not our responsibility to fix other people’s problems, no matter how easy that seems to be for us. Actually it isn’t our job to make a judgement call concerning whether or not something needs changing in other people’s life in the first place.
The challenges we have are not there merely for us to find a solution. They are given to us to learn a lesson and grow. When we step in for others prematurely or without being asked we are taking away from their learning and their becoming self-reliant. That way we can literally keep them stuck in dependency. If we have this disposition maybe we should rather use our time to look at why we feel the need to be the problem solver for everybody and fix other people’s shower heads. What do we think we are lacking when we’re not helping other people? Or are we trying to avoid something in our own lives that way?
Part of the continual supportive circle of giving and receiving is our respect for and acceptance of each other’s way of learning. “Shower head-ing” other people is obviously not the way to go. We all have the power within us to change, learn and grow. We need to trust this inherent strength and act on it, and if need be with a little help from our friends we asked for.