Saturday, November 17, 2012

On the Futility of Doing Good

I remember a line Minnie Pearl used on the Grand Ole Opry that describes my emotional state. She came out on stage with her famous flower-covered hat and the price tag dangling from it and exclaimed, "Oh.  Lordy, I feel so unnecessary." That useless, emptiness may be diagnosed today as depression. 

Sometimes the spark that keeps me driving on, that prompts me to action is absent. Sometimes I feel the uselessness of my efforts is a burden. When I spend money and effort to benefit someone, but the potential benefit is never realized, it registers in my soul as failure. It may happen over a long time with the recipient becoming increasingly dependent on the righteous and generous benefactor. Like an enabler and an alcoholic, both parties seem to become more and more addicted to their roles. 

One or both may express disdain for the situation, but they never break the relationship. The merry dance continues with ever increasing extremes of behavior. More money, more effort, more time. Until finally one of the parties changes something. One could become independent or the other could become bored with the steps of the dance. It does take two to play, and either one can disrupt the rhythm and change the rules. 

Who wants to be first? Change something; rewrite the game; learn a new method. But we are humans and subject to foolish habits and faulty reasoning. Check out the sequences in this paradigm and see where you can improve your life.

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