- Thoughts for inspired living

June 9, 2009

Coin Toss

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:33 am

The Grasshopper stopped me in my tracks when he delivered this piece of wisdom:

“The hardest person to help is someone who doesn’t think they’re in trouble.”

Most parents can tell when a child is moving along a path that’s not in their best interest – especially teens. The biggest frustration as a parent is not being able to communicate what you know from experience as wise counsel to someone who cannot envision a future past 5 minutes from now.

Somehow most of us get through that period by doing the best job we know how and manage to turn out solid citizens.

Oftentimes that teenage part of people doesn’t grow up and they remain unreachable because they have no sense of the troubled environment they live in.

Any physician, counselor, clergy member, family member or good friend will tell you the most exasperating situation to be in, is with a person who knows it all but knows nothing.

Reminds me of a story . . .

Many years ago I worked with a very brilliant man who was destroying his life through abusing himself. No one could reach him because he would only engage in the debate on the plane of words and ideas and never that of behavior. Truth be told, he was an arrogant ass, but one that was in trouble. This story doesn’t have a happy ending. He left our midst at an earlier age than his insurance policy expected because he refused to grow up.

Teenage years are for teenagers.

There is a difference between youthful exuberance and reckless behavior but many troubled adults have not parsed that difference. They have patterns that need updating. What to do?

The answer is: “I don’t know.”

Helping someone who doesn’t want help is swimming upstream. They’ve been offered the invitation to “go deeper” but have ignored it at every turn. Does this mean we stop sending out invites?

That’s an answer only you can come up with. My personal strategy is to continue making efforts but not the same ones that have failed in the past. Yet even if we are Edison-like in our ingenuity, we may never get them to see the light. Reminds me of another story . . .

Twenty some years ago Dr. Dave Dobson asked our class what we would do if we were piloting a plane heading for the ground at 500 MPH? We offered many different answers to his question, and our answers were always followed up with his next question: “What if it doesn’t work, then what would you do?” This went on and on until we ran out of answers. He then asked us in his Socratic method if we would like to know what the answer was. We all answered “Yes.” He said the answer to his follow-up question is, “Anything else.”

“Anything else” requires a lot more curiosity and tenacity than giving up. The only question you then have to ask is, “Is the person worth my continued effort?” Don’t be surprised if the answer is “No.”

Some people have to bump into every doorknob and bruise themselves mercilessly before they believe there is a doorway. It may not be in your best interest to walk every step of the way with them in that unlit “funhouse.”

Again, I don’t yet have an answer to this dilemma. I guess my purpose in writing about this conundrum is to point out there are two options you may not have considered – “Anything else” and “No.” It’s a toss-up.

Anybody got a lucky coin?

All the best,


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