Will's Wisdom

by Will Limón

Save Yourself!

There’s much to be done, many people to look out for, an abundance of opportunity and responsibility to be managed. However, there’s only one person you can save—yourself. Let me explain.

As a parent, spouse, friend, sibling or your parents’ child, you have limited powers to influence the welfare of others. “Helicopter” parents who continually flit about, bringing to school the forgotten lunch or homework only teach their children that others will save them. Instructing one’s spouse, friends or siblings on the “right way” to do something often brings more resentment than approval. Informing parents of their mistakes in life can drive wedges between family members. Even though well-meaning and correct, uninvited comments often foster the opposite effect. Try telling a teenager what ought to be done.

When tempted to “save” someone else, take your own advice. Respectfully offer assistance, and comply with the response. When appropriate, share what has worked for you and brainstorm alternatives together. How you live your life is the best way to help others for you are a constant role model—as a parent, spouse, family member or friend.

Yes, there are those times in which you must simply act, e.g., pulling your child to safety or taking your neighbor to the hospital. For most things, follow the guidelines they give on the airplane: put on your oxygen mask first. Minding your own yard will show others that life can be the garden of their dreams.

 

 

 

 

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Send your questions or topics for a column to Will at WillHelpYou@comcast.net.

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