How many times have you found yourself saying, “I tried to help them…” in instances where someone you were trying to assist put forth no effort to help themselves?
“SK” seemed like a nice enough man. Upper 40’s, divorced, and on disability after a nearly fatal motorcycle crash. He’d moved to the area in an attempt to start his life over, get a change of scenery and get back on his feet. When the disability money had run out, he secured a job as a salesman but wasn’t very good at the job. He was computer illiterate, had short term memory problems, and unrealistic expectations of salary. Within days of starting work, he began tuning out and lost all enthusiasm.
He shared his story with me, venting that he just wanted to get his life back after the divorce, the accident, the vagrancy and the long string of “bad luck” that had befallen him. Shortly thereafter, he was thrown out of the motel he was living in for dealing drugs on the premises and had moved to another motel. When he came to me asking for advice and help and telling me he only had $11.00 to his name and no place to go, it sounded as if he was going to be one of those men who just wanted someone to latch onto for support.
I know the type, I’ve ended up with them many times in the past but I thankfully learned from those mistakes and did not let my heart be affected by his attempts. Instead, I gave him phone numbers and addresses of my landlord who has affordable apartments in the area and who would work with him, of the local outreach center who could provide food, clothing and other basic services, and to other places that could help him with his immediate needs. I even gave him my personal card letting him know I was available if he needed someone to talk to or to help him find additional assistance.
Well, the day after he was evicted from his motel room, he also lost the job he’d just started. At that time, I believe he also lost all hope and I felt very sorry for him. That was until I helped clear out his work area and found that not only had he left behind all the valuable information I’d given him for shelter, food and clothing, even my card – he’d thrown the information in the trash. Seeing that immediately changed my opinion of him and validated my gut instinct that this person did not want to do anything for himself. The opportunities he was given received zero effort from him (including the job).
It disgusts me that there are so many good people in the world who try to help others less fortunate by giving them the tools they need to help themselves yet the people they’re trying to help end up completely unappreciative of the help they’re given. I don’t know if it amounts to laziness, arrogance, selfishness, or all of the above, but these people who only seek to take what they can from others without any effort on their own part are just dirt in my opinion. They’ve no appreciation for the time and energy others are willing to put into them and do not deserve any sort of welfare or assistance until they are willing to do something for themselves.
That’s my vent for the day.