You Can’t Help Those…

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Yesterday morning I returned to Missouri for a few different things; family reunion, speaking at a conference, a few other business items. First, though, was the family reunion…

Ever been to a family reunion? Like, extended family? These events have the potential to be really great-or really miserable. Luckily, this one fell closer to the great side of things.

After the reunion, a few cousins came back to my parents’ house for a bit. We were discussing other relatives and friends (non-gossipy, of course!) when someone brought up someone’s medical situation. The gentleman in question has been in terrible health for the last year or more. He’s middle aged, but the pain his body is in is more like that of an 80 year old. And yet? He refuses to go to the doctor.

This gentleman’s family has talked until they’re blue in the face, trying to convince him to seek a doctor’s insight-or at least get some medicine. SOMETHING to get him well again. Still, he refuses.

While we were discussing this situation, my cousin, Richard,, made a completely appropriate point:

“You can’t help those who won’t help themselves.”

Family has such a different realm of dynamics. They can love unconditionally…and they can spike emotional pain like nothing else. Welcome to family!

Most generally, those in our family get more grace than the average person on the street. We pour loads of emotional energy into trying to help those with whom we share DNA. And when family members refuse something so obviously good for them, what do we do?

I think Richard’s summation is quite appropriate. For family, for friends, for Joe Average guy on the street-you can’t help those who won’t help themselves.

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