Some people seem to always need our help.
They live through an ongoing dilemma. They need a ride to work or a babysitter. They’re behind on their rent. They can’t pay their bills. Don’t have gas money. They never seem to have enough money when they plan to or go out with us.
And most of all, they always need or ask for a loan.
This is not to say that some of us have not been more blessed than others with high-paying jobs or careers while others struggle in low-paying dead-end jobs. Some have grown up with responsible and motivating parents that provided for all their needs when others were born into households where parents were less than diligent caregivers and providers, requiring their children to take on excessive burdens and make sacrifices most do not.
It is human nature to want to give to those who are in need or less fortunate. But by the same token, it is also human nature for others to take advantage of those who willingly give without limits.
Therefore, it’s our responsibility to lord over the exchange. No, we shouldn’t have to change our giving or charitable nature because there are some out there who are not worthy or do not sincerely need help and would rather use or abuse us. Regardless, our charity and goodwill are still our treasures and shouldn’t be wasted when we could impact others elsewhere.
So, we must be very careful that we help those who truly need help, but don’t enable those we do, causing them to never do or be better, allowing them to simply rely on us unintentionally as their eternal benefactors.
Often times, that dependence subsequently becomes abuse, compromising friendships and ruining relationships. Ultimately, friends feel used and lovers or spouses lose respect for one other.
At other times, the abuse is simpler and more blatant especially when our friendships and relationships are obviously one-sided. For example, we continuously help or provide for those who fail to help or provide for us when we need it and they can easily provide it.
In any case, our help should never be a hindrance. It should not prevent us from helping those who are most in need in favor of those who are not or are simply cheap or lazy. And most of all, it should not prevent others from becoming more or better than their circumstances.
For if it does, we have defeated our own intent and done more harm than good.
Eric Christopher Webb © 2016
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The WordsByWebb blog distributes a weekly quotation and reflection every Tuesday from National Black Authors Tour bestselling author and multi-talented writer Eric Christopher Webb (E.WEBB?!) to inspire, motivate and encourage personal development of its readers. The blog also regularly shares news, updates, new poetry and excerpts of the writer’s latest work. Webb, a spoken word artist, former Washington News Correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and nationally-syndicated Soul Searching columnist, has also been featured in movies, music videos, commercials and literary documentaries on HBO, BET Weekend’s Evening of Spoken Word, BET’s Rap City, Video Jukebox, The Party Machine, The Learning Channel, Voice of America and XM Radio. He is the author of five books, including "The Garvey Protocol: Inspired By True Events," a 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award Finalist for First Fiction and the National Black Authors Tour bestseller, "Love Letters, Death Threats & Suicide Notes." He has also contributed to numerous anthologies, journals and magazines.
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