Starting Yourself

Our parents and friends are very good people to have, usually, though of course there are exceptions. Of course the obvious exceptions is if your parents or friends are truly mean, or they do foolish or dangerous things, you should best avoid them. But sometimes, even a very good friend or a very good parent can make the mistake of helping you too much. If you are helped too much, you never learn how to do something hard all on your own. If your parents make things too easy, then you won’t know what to do when things are difficult; if your friends always let you get away with stuff then they are keeping you from having your own ethics: your own standards of how to treat others well.

But one thing that your parents or friends can do that can actually make you weak: they can make sure you do something you’re supposed to do, that you promised to do, but that you just feel too lazy, resentful or unprepared to do it. If you’re lazy, that is something you can change: someone taking the role of your conscience and reminding you all the time makes it too easy to for you to forget what you promised. That is bad enough. But the really bad thing is that, if someone always keeps you going, keeps you working, then you forget how to work by yourself and for yourself.

This may not seem like such a big deal but it is. When that someone goes away for a while or even forever, then you won’t be able to do anything. You will forget the important things because, of course, your parent or friend remembered it for you, reminded you, got you out of bed to do it, dragged you away from your computer or phone of whatever and made you do what you needed to do: and now, you can’t make yourself do anything! You can’t start anything: you don’t know how. You can’t finish anything: you don’t know how! Being helped too much can be a very bad thing.

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