The compassionate side of my soul is challenged by the reality of people hurting themselves. What does one do? I get the responsibility I have to a child, helping them grow while protecting them from great harm. It is the responsibility we share with each other that causes the confusion. Do I try to intervene when an adult takes a decision that only has negative outcomes? How great does the negative need to be in order for me to take action?
Life reminded me recently that friends sometimes hurt themselves. In many ways the scene played out like David’s commentary; “They have no excuse; the way God works is well-known. The cunning machinery made by the wicked has maimed their own hands.” (Psalm 9.16) I know that I felt powerless to do anything as it unfolded. I understand that adults have earned the right to make great decisions – some for good, others for evil. I also know that I believed I knew better. In hindsight, it looks like I was right in this instance.
In the reflection since, I have tried wearing the shoes of the one self-destructing. Life keep reminded me of the following mantras.
If you want to be helped, you need to let others know you are willing to be helped. Standing tall, confident, and resolute is rarely an invitation for others to lend a hand. If you want help, make sure others know.
When you want to do something crazy, make sure you hear the warnings of those around you. Hearing can save your life. Besides, listening never prevents anyone from deciding to do something crazy.
When you crash and burn, pick yourself up, learn, deal with things, and get on with the business of living. Everyone crashes at one point or another. That is never the point that separates us. What we do with life’s lessons makes the difference in how we live.
Life offers a fresh chance. Yesterday’s disasters do not prevent us from reaching upwards. Will we seize the opportunities we have? We can if we want to.