Friday, May 16, 2014

No Good Deed

One of my earliest memories of my dad teaching us a grown-up lesson was, “Never hire family, loan money or play match maker.”  He went on to say that more likely than not, the nephew you wanted to help turns out to be lazy, the money somehow never gets paid back and anyone who has actually fixed up a friend or two on a date has their own horror story.

So, what happens when a friend or relative just wants to be helpful?  Do they ignore their desire to give a helping hand?  Do they turn the other way because they are concerned things can go badly?  When we think about it this way, it does seem unfeeling and cold to do nothing at all.

And yet, over the past many years I have witnessed all of the above.  And, every single one of them turned out badly.  Some worse than others. 

All of the examples I gave started with the best of intentions.  Most of the people involved talked about the situation.  They made realistic plans and time lines.  AND YET, when all was said and done, relationships were strained and friendships tested.

I have no real answers or advice here.  And, I believe that although lessons were learned by all, given a similar set of circumstances today, they would do the same thing.  I think it speaks to the heart and not the head.

Perhaps the lesson is, “Don’t look for the thank you or the payback.” Acknowledge that what you did, you did because you chose to.  AND, no matter the outcome, you did it not for the ‘hero’ factor but because it made you feel good.