Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Moments with Mimi--Learned Helplessness...

Before jumping into this week's post from Mimi, I want to take a minute to wish my parents a very Happy 40th Anniversary!  This feat is such an amazing accomplishment!  And it has been made possible by my parents' strong and dedicated love to each other and to the Lord.  Happy 40th Anniversary, Mimi and Poppy!  We love you!


4 Helpful Souls
Recently, while attempting to go in the front door of a local market, I witnessed a rather sizeable, elderly gentleman sitting in somewhat of a precarious position on his mobile shopping cart.  Apparently, he was attempting to enter the store when his motorized cart’s battery failed.  Interestingly enough, because of the way he was positioned, I could not assess how much assistance he required.


I sensed his situation needed some attention, but I truly did not know what needed to happen. This is where the four helpful souls I mentioned in the title come into play.


The first helpful soul had already retrieved the man another cart and was assisting by strenuously attempting to relocate him from one cart to the other.  Unfortunately both of the carts were on an incline and facing opposite directions, which made the challenge even more daunting. And to top it off, this helpful soul #1 was half the size of the gentleman he was trying to assist!!!


Kind-hearted souls #2 and #3 also scurried in to contribute their efforts and remedies to solve this puzzling predicament. At this point, I was most impressed with everyone’s willingness, but somewhat perplexed by all three attempting more than one solution, in more than one way, and all at the same time.  This only served to confuse the already stressed gentleman that remained perched in the precarious position.  (And yes, I was just an observer, only because there was no room for me around the two carts, with the three helpful souls and the precarious positioned gentleman working in a 4x4 foot area!!!


Out of nowhere came a younger man; someone I will call helpful soul #4.  He walked right up to the gentleman and said rather pointedly, “Sir, just a minute everybody.  Sir, are you trying to go forward, back it up, or just get off the cart?  I can help you stand up.  I just need to know what you want to do?”


To all of our surprise, the gentleman said “Oh, I can stand up.” I was a little amused as I watched the crowd, and they watched the older gentleman.  He removed himself from his own precarious situation, stepped right over to the working motorized cart, and continued on inside to complete his shopping trip.  It was almost almost as if a miracle had happened right in front of our very eyes!!!!  

In reality, the # 4 wise soul did not perform any miracles, but merely asked the gentleman a pertinent question.Sir, what do you want to do here?”  And then he uses this information to gently assist.


Isn’t this an obvious scenario of how we sometimes rush to the aid of our little ones who appear to be perched in precarious situations?  Many times we want to fix their problems by forcing a solution, when we know little or nothing at all about how they feel about their situation.  As a result of our efforts, we may deprive them of a feeling of accomplishment when figuring something out on their own and with their own capabilities.


When life positions our little ones in a less-than-perfect circumstance, let’s not forget to confer with them about their dilemma and its solution!!!  I say this because I too have often sprinted to the rescue of my grandchildren to doctor scrapes and boo boos.  They, for all appearances, are in much need of some aid, and therefore I rush in, with my Neosporin and Band Aids in hand.


Whether it’s literal or figurative, how foolish it would be to place the Band Aids and rub the Neosporin all over their legs, just because I could not clearly identify the location of the “scrape.”


Let’s always sprint good-heartedly to their cries, but be cognoscente of the fact that sometimes just a hug and a word of encouragement will suffice.  Actually, they may be better served by us if we just put the Neosporin and Band Aids up
and let them talk it out, instead of us always rushing in to bandage it up.


In all circumstances, let’s be purposed to observe and willing to administer aid, but as the wise 4th soul demonstrated, let’s ask them questions and listen for their answers.  Let’s not allow our children to become so soft in life that they believe every bump requires Emergency First Aid from us. We do not want to create an environment in which every bump leaves our little ones helplessly stuck and waiting for our Neosporin and Band Aids.  Let’s purpose our rush to help, be in harmony with their actual need of help.




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