Friday, August 25, 2006

What's wrong with me?

孟子曰:吾日三省吾身

And so I've been doing that. Well, okay, not 3 times daily in a disciplined manner, but rather at very frequent and random times, I discover something new about myself. Here's the latest.

I've been getting very easily irritated. Perhaps cocky as well. A renewed sense of confidence that came from working at Staples has suddenly bloated and exploded within my head. Suddenly, I feel like I'm not the old person I was.

When people came to me for help, I'd help, without thinking or asking for returns or favors. Then, I degenerated to a state where I constantly thought about favors, even though I don't ask for them. Now, I blatantly refuse to help people. Leon comes asking me for help looking for a room, and my immediate thought is, why me? I'm not searching for one... Uncle Ken comes and calls me every 2 or 3 days with some new computer problem, just because I said "free tech service for buying it from me". Yeah, hell man, I said free, but not necessarily at your beck and call. Even paid service works at the convenience of the technician.

[Heck. I hate dependency. Man must learn to stand on his own feet, while still trusting something higher to work things out.]

Yet here's the paradox - once I put myself in their shoes, it seems all so natural to react like that. Leon would need, desperately, a room, for his once-trustworty landlord has thrown him out; for him, he must move out by Oct 1, no later. Uncle Ken detests failure the way I detest dependency, and so would rather have everybody do things for him rather than he do things on his own.

[No, no, you're getting torn away from your principles. Dependency is not a good thing. Cut it.]

Then again, I helped Lulu with Xuyue today. Perhaps I was happier to help her, in a sense, because I know she's at the minimum not the kind who'll cling to a dependable person. She'll give people space, the way she herself needs space. (At least that's my own preliminary analysis; I don't know her well.) I was glad that she made it on time too, rather than drag her feet and be late. Exceeded my expectations for a person. She would match well with Xuyue, for he needs some disciplining on that part. (XD hope he doesn't see this entry...) I guess I was alright doing this deed for it was convenient - I had control over when, how and where I could help.

No, no, it's settled. I'm sticking to my guns - I detest dependency, and I'd rather people give me space to breathe, for I need space. Likewise, I'd give you space to breathe too, for I'd not cling on to you like shrink-wrap. Everybody should learn how to, at the minimum, stand on their own feet and take care of themselves.

And, like I've learned from BSG and from Steve Jobs, trust something higher to connect the dots for you.

4 comments:

minghan said...

Perhaps the key might not be a direct nil reply, but maybe to transplant faith in people so that they look for their own solutions in the right direction.

There is a quote that has been widely attributed to Laozi (and claimed by many as well). It goes like there:
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

And I remembered Stephen Covey addded on (in one of his books): Teach a group of people how to fish, and you uplife a society.

Eric said...

Great words, Ming Han. Thanks for the comment!

drey said...

Hmmm... what about: no man is an island? I've always admired your independence, but not everyone's blessed with that, I guess. Like me. *laughs* Live and let live :P

Oh one thing I've read is that when you're trying to encourage/counsel someone, the thing they need to see in your eyes is the faith you have that they will pull through and that there's so much potential in them. Perhaps this could be applied to when you help people with stuff as well...

Glad things have been resolved! :)

Eric said...

Thanks for teling me that, Audrey. Your words are relevant in this case, for in the past, I focused on helping others by helping them fix the problem, rather than teaching them how to fix the problem. In a sense, I'd treat them much like idiots. And if I suddenly said, "You can fix it too.", then it'd sound as if I turned my back on them.

I guess that straight from the start, I have to ensure that I make it clear that I'm not there to solve problems for others; rather, I'm there to help them discover their own path out of a situation that they've got. This way, it prevents others from being disappointed in the future.