Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Theme Of My Life

I’m never as good as I can be.

And I have to acknowledge that.

So I can always strive to be better.

Am I good?

Yeah, I’m okay.

But I’m not as good as I could be.

Today I was presented a challenge.  A challenge to be better.  And I am pretty sure I failed.  I answered a call from someone as frustrated as I about a woman who lives amongst us.  A woman who in our opinion needs help.  She shouldn’t  be living the way she lives.  She should let all of the help that we have arranged, time and time again, come in and help her.   Help her clean, help her bathe, help her with her medications, help her pay her bills, help her prepare meals, help her do everything that makes her like us.

I failed.

I failed because I want her to be….something she is not capable of being.

For all of the things we think we are helping her with it didn’t occur to me that we are hoping to make her something she isn’t.

The way she lives is her choice.  And it’s her comfort.

I would take no more comfort from being forced to live like her.

Than she would take from being forced to live like me.

What right have I to expect her to be like me?

What I perceive to be a problem is her perception of normal.

I was frustrated because I just knew that I, of course, knew better.  I do take it very seriously that I have a job that often gives me a chance to help make someone’s life better.  Safer.  More comfortable.   It’s a good job.  An important job.  Sometimes, more times than I want to tell you, we have to walk away.   We have to tell ourselves that this person has the right to live the way he or she chooses.  And many times I am an advocate of that.  I have no right to tell others how to live.  Sometimes we are put in a position to find a way to protect a victim.   But sometimes, like today, I struggle.  I see what I think is a desperate need, a life in peril.   And I just want to make it better.

But who, exactly, do I want to make it better for?

Her?

Or me?

Are my sensibilities so fragile that I can not accept a person different than I?  Because they have a different standard of living?   A different reason for existing?   A different purpose in life?

I don’t fail because I want to make things better for someone.  I feel like I fail when I don’t accept someone because they don’t expect, want or need better.

There’s a lesson or two in that for me.

It’s why I know I’m not as good as I can be.  And why I keep trying to learn more.   To keep trying.   To always recognize how I can learn.   How I can be better.   I have to acknowledge this.

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