The views we hold about ourselves and others have a great influence on the way we lead our life.I am sharing these three short real life stories in my attempt to clarify some norms and beliefs we hold about life and to make our lives a bit more happier!
Case 1: One of my close friend’s son who is about 14 years now, would frequently come home complaining over minor stuff at school which off late became a regular feature. I would patiently listen to my friend’s daily woes, however one day I was tempted and casually asked her· “What are you going to do about it?”.She was taken aback as she did not expect any response from me however, gathering her thoughts she very candidly replied I am going to do nothing about it. Let him learn to handle it himself. This is not the first time. This will help him deal with it and make him stronger. What will he do when I am not around?”14 years old, should be capable of handling own conflicts……Valid point!__________________________________________________________________________Case 2: This was about a relationship resolution. The guy was sailing however he did not like his manager. He would sometimes tell his significant other as well as his parents how much he hated his job. However, they would motivate him to deal with the situation and would tell him “ this will teach you to be strong”. Don’t give up so easily.35 years old, should be strong by now… Sounds Valid….. Once again!____________________________________________________________________________ Case 3: A senior citizen came up to me and casually remarked ‘ Whenever I tell my problem to my daughter, she tells me “ don’t bother… forget it, don’t take things so much to heart. Be strong”… hmm… seems so logical.____________________________________________________________________________Per se, it all looks so logical and that’s the way it has been! All the above three cases are so much part of each one of our life.. isn’t it? We make these statements so often and in good faith. Nothing is wrong with these statements. Infact, we feel we have done our duty as and a great sense of achievement dawns on us on doing a good job on counseling.
As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so now, if I were to focus my attention to the main characters of these stories: The young boy, the sailor and the senior citizen.My question to them was:· Did you eventually get stronger?
- “I felt that they did not understand me”.
- “I don’t know”
- ” It’s okay”
The bottom line was : They were shattered . They were devastated with the response from their loved ones. let alone being motivated!
This reply was indeed shocking for the other party. In their defense they stated , not in the same words but the crux of their defense was :
- True gold fears no fire!
- Fire does not destroy gold. It only makes it stronger and purer!
- Hardships, trials and sufferings make people stronger so that they are ready to face the realities of life!
All of this sounds very valid and very true, but there is a dangerous flaw in this entire set up.. read along:·
- Do you think 14 year old was ready enough to handle the situation. Do you know who he is seeking help from as you have shirked him away
- Have you lived a life of a sailor, sailing for months together with strangers? Can you and me even for one day live without meeting our loved ones/our friends?
- Can you empathise with an elder who was so much in command a decade ago, has to deal with the daily aches, pains and moreover is morally looking for support from the family members who do not have time for their own families, let alone parents!
Remember that when we deal with people we cannot compare them to anything …be it gold, diamond, silver…. however inspiring it might sound!
At that moment all that they needed was someone to “ACCEPT THEM AS THEY WERE”:-
- Weak and Helpless!
- Docile and fragile
- Broken and depressed
- Full of limitations and imperfections
Even when you have to purify gold you have to treat it with kid gloves so that the dangerous chemicals coming out of it do not harm you. Do you know that there is a specific process to be followed to purify gold and if the process is not followed, you will end up corrupting the gold which eventually will not be as potentially viable as you would want it to be? The entire process is done very meticulously and by trained professionals.
We are very particular to understand the ‘gold purifying” process however, when it comes to our loved ones, we push them in the psychological fire and let them fight it out themselves-Strange isn’t it?
Are we not responsible to provide them air cover, the moral support and all other external support to help them transform from one level to another?
We are humans, not metals. Each one of us is complex and dynamic , unique in our own beautiful way.
In the future if you feel like pushing someone to do better, instead of using the analogy of “gold” I would urge you to use the analogy of a “flower”
“ When the flower dosen’t bloom,you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower” –Alexander Den Heijer
Human beings are born sensitive, emphatatic, loving and caring. Good example is when a three year old child cries in a playgroup.. the entire class is crying! . its empathy at its best!
Next time, you have the urge to push your loved ones to be strong, help them to be strong if you can but if you think you do not have the full capability, or if your instinct tell you to go a bit further, then do not hesitate from seeking professional help.
Accept them as they are and then use the right process/method to help them overcome their limitations!You can truly get “Pure Gold” when you help them “Come Up Roses”- Never forget this!
Be blessed and make your universe worth living -for self as well as others!
I am a Corporate Behaviour Modification facilitator, Psychologist, Psychotherapist. You can reach me at: