Marie got it right. The ACLU was apparently the reason for not being able to put anyone in a safe environment against their will, when they obviously cannot care for themselves.
Giving them money simply is perpetuating their situation.
Darla, I always love reading your articles. You are so spot on! Thank you for addressing issues that are so relevant for our time.
"See a need and fill it" is a principle that I have learned in my youth that has led me to serve others. However this view ignores the whole concept of whether or not the person wants the help or whether they can fill the need for themselves.Since serving others usually makes me feel good about myself, when the article mentions "If I serve to...feel good...it profiteth me nothing," I do not know how we can have that pure of a motive. How about if the person really does need our help and we want to feel good about ourselves for giving it? The price tag of codependency is the expectations we have of others by our giving them service. The other price tag may be that I may be focusing more on filling the needs of others to the detriment of ignoring my own needs or stewardship. This article is the best description of codependency that I have ever read. Thank you for the article.
Whew, what a needed article! Certain family members often give my husband and me lavish and inappropriate gifts that are still quite attractive - cars, extra cash, expensive Christmas gifts, etc. I want to turn them down with as much politeness as I can muster, but I'm told, "But that's how they express their love, we can't say no." Well, then, please explain to me what is loving about the folks getting angry with us for not involving them in choosing our first home or (need I bring this up?) getting married in the first place? A gift is not lovingly given when it comes with emotional strings attached.My husband is the only one in the family that got away, financed his own education, went on a mission, and got married. The others are still at home either cohabitating and nursing emotional scars or able-bodied and, at 24, still living at home and not employed full-time. But that is what comes from parents who bail their kids out of every speeding ticket, shop for their kids' college textbooks for them, and think we're nuts for not letting them pick out our first house.
It's usually way more complicated than it is stated here. Street people are often mentally ill, cognitively challenged, (IQ in the 70s) and drug addicted. When they are your relatives, you know that any financial help you give is just probably going to make the problem worse. If you let them stay in your home they won't respect the rules of your home. Because of their cognitive disabilities, they don't learn from their experiences and tend to blame others or their situation. Loving and praying for them and watching them destroy themselves isn't easy, and it certainly doesn't feel helpful or Christlike to abandon your child or grand child who is really an incompetent adult, on the street. Your best hope is for them to be incarcerated, then at least you can visit them and they can't hurt themselves or you. When mental health facilities were closed to respect human rights. Hundreds of people who really don't have the ability for informed consent were turned out onto the streets of most of our major cities. Think about it.
Would you say Ammon had a hidden agenda in serving King Lamoni: "I will show forth my power... in restoring the flocks,THAT I MAY WIN THE HEARTS OF THESE MY FELLOW-SERVANTS, THAT I MAY LEAD THEM TO BELIEVE IN MY WORDS"? Alma 17:29
Excellent, much needed article. We LDS are so service oriented that we overdo it. The Spirit will indicate when to help. Explaining why he would not heal everyone, Jesus pointed out that Elijah was only sent to help one widow during the drought (Luke 4:26). Let us avoid service projects to help little chicks hatch.
We must be careful about giving unwanted service yes but the two personal experiences, to me, are poor examples of times not to give service & I wonder if the adult son & daughter-in-law weren't in some way not wanting help from a particular relative rather than not needing help at all. After all, if someone in your ward suffered monstrous medical bills don't you think they would be grateful for a ward that rallied around them to help. The same goes for a woman who is suffering from the load of great responsibilities ( author's description of need wasn't clear here). Yes, we need to not enable people by doing for them what they can emotionally & physically handle on their own but we need to be careful in our judgement of what they can handle. I'd not want to be one who withheld help because I decided that the person could handle things when in fact they couldn't.
I don't know how you do it (well, actually I do!!!) but you often hit on a topic that I have been pondering to understand better that my actions my be more in harmony with the teachings of my Savior. Thank you for sharing your talent with the written word with all of us.
I thought this was a great article. However, I am currently experiencing something along a different line - a person who needs help that asks for help above and beyond what they need (take care of my child so I can go on vacation, can I borrow your credit card?) Where do we draw the line?
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