Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Propping 'Em Up, or Letting 'Em Take Their Knocks....The No Win Situations of Life

Last night we watched a Netflix Dvd of the new Star Trek movie. I always liked the old Kirk & Spock Start Trek and this one is a sort of alternate time line in which you see them in their youth. I liked it, I thought the acting was pretty darn good.

One of the things that was touched upon was James Kirk's handling of a test called the Kobayashi Maru its a sort of test that is a 'no win' scenario and Kirk cheats by reprogramming the test simulator so that it is possible to win. The task in the Kobayashi Maru is very much like helping someone who can't really be helped--thus putting oneself in trouble too--the other choice--don't help and watch that other fail/fall/be destroyed etc..

The young Spock is angry with the young Kirk because he should know that as a Captain he can't cheat death. Kirk however firmly intends to cheat death as often as possible in his life. They have different ways of looking at life.

Sometimes in life that is how it is. We face these crazy impossible situations. Do we try to help someone who continually makes choices that land them in impossible places? Do we lend money to the desperate person who will only need it again because of an ongoing problem that maybe they ought to deal with? Do we do this again and again, and again? Do we risk being hated really because we didn't do what we could at a crucial moment? What if we find that sometimes we are darn near surrounded by folks who aren't pulling their own weight and bailing them out--is going to endanger our own ability manage our own situation? What if we chose to help one and not another for some reason of our own? Does it mean we love the other less?

Its a 'No Win thing
that Kobayashi Maru. I wish it was something I could just re-program like Kirk did back in his 3rd attempt at the test. You can't reprogram life however--especially not when it comes to other people's choices.

It makes me sad, sometimes angry that I find there are regrets in my life. Times when I did not know what to do and maybe the choice I made was wrong. On the other hand--I know the likely outcome of a different choice wouldn't have worked either. I have some real pain when I rethink some situations in my past.

Today I'm thinking of someone in particular whom I have put up with an awful lot of 'guff' from who is about to leap into something unwise --again. I know that eventually this is going to play itself out and almost certainly not work. This particular person is also famous for not listening--so I don't expect there is a thing I can do to persuade them otherwise--lest I provoke a great deal of sparks. I'm pretty much tired of that sort of thing- I do not need other people's sparks flying about in my life. I think though, I must make an attempt to speak the truth in love--though I'm sure it won't be perceived that way.

I wonder about the next step-- what happens when it all comes to the most likely conclusion--do I help then? Do I Prop up a failing situation or step back and let it tumble down.

Where do we draw the lines in life? In society? In our culture?

There are those who believe we must give until it hurts and then continue to give--others would say-- we must all be responsible for ourselves.

I guess I lean somewhere toward the middle--on the be responsible side. I'm not for propping up folks who are determined to be irresponsible. I think sometimes it is easier to do that--certainly you 'feel' better if you do just help. You don't have that weight of worry hanging on you. But maybe you are doing more of a disservice than a service?

Well.. all I know is, one way or another these things are No Win. My only comfort in them is truly Prayer. I just feel it is the nature of this life--we make choices to do what we think is best at the time, and sometimes we may find we are just way wrong--or realize we couldn't have done better no matter what. We do have some comfort however.

We can know that God knows. That He is aware of all our dilemmas and our 'kobayashi marus' and that He isn't judging us so much on our actions as he is on our hearts--did we do what we could with what we knew at the time?

Another thing I rely on is GRACE. Grace is the favor of God that we don't deserve and can never earn--His free gift to us in Christ. Forgiveness and mercy for all our mistakes and sins paid for by His Own Son.

Well, this is a matter I wanted to write on this morning-- I've had some repeat bouts of this sort of thing the past several years and its tough. We have been in the position to need help sometimes--and so we know how that is too.

Life is full of these tests isn't it? I've always been one of those folks who really is uncomfortable with stress and drama--and yet it seems I must deal with it anyways.


  1. your post was written for me, mary! thankyou. i think we must all have to deal with this stuff especially with our children. i am a believer in natural consequences...but lately i am fighting (and killing myself in the process) to keep situations afloat. i suppose it all comes down to how important it is, and if it can be sustainable. prayer is fundamental. i need an action plan...and family meetings for discussion. take care mary...i am finding out the hard way how quickly these things can take you down.

  2. I think right now for me, prayer is about all I can manage in certain situations. I do see God helping though--there are often things that happen that just remind me I'm not in charge and don't have to be. I just need to keep perspective--but boy there's the rub..

  3. Sometimes failing can be our greatest blessing. It's also the way to learn responsibility for those unwilling to be responsible.

    I understand where you're coming from. I have a story that I copied from a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" newsletter I received about 10 months ago. It helped me to get a child out that needed to be more responsible for its-self, but yet do it in a way that left the person's importance to me shine through.
    The story was about "Baskets".
    Go over to my blog and leave me your email addy. I'll not publish your comment, just pull off the addy and email you the story and then delete your comment. (I can't just post it on my blog - it's copyrighted.)

    You're right, it takes a lot of prayer to know what to do. But I think that the bottom line is that we should never be doing for our family and friends what they CAN do for themselves - especially when they have a history of choosing to NOT DO what they can. They will never learn wisdom if there are no consequences to poor choices. It's called "tough love". And it may cost us their love for a short while, but if it costs us their "love" forever, then did they really "love" us or were they just using us?
    Sometimes we just have to give them the respect they want when they make bad decisions, but then let them know we're still "respecting" them and that we're going to let them now sort their own problems.
    Sigh, and we though walking the floor all night with a sick baby was tough!