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  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default Enablement: When helping is disabling

    Note: Fi rant ahead, lots of overt honesty, no offense intended, just feeling frustration. alternate perspectives appreciated!

    As an FP, a natural part of my evolution has been developing enough Te life skills to be self-supportive.

    At around 17, trying to balance my checkbook would leave me in tears and I routinely had anxiety attack as about having to work, go to school, and deal with household financial stuff at the same time. I had left home at fifteen so I had no choice but to figure this stuff out on my own. When I had my son at 17, and his dad left us, it was another level of enormous stress and responsibility I had to learn to cope with. However even now I will go off on rants about having to sort through paperwork to get my car inspected or deal with medical bills-it is so very stressful. The effort this non-Ne motivated work requires is right up there with running five miles, in terms of physical pain induced, except I actually enjoy running. Maybe it is more like scrubbing baseboards....with a toothbrush.

    Had I my choice, I would flush it all down the toilet and just do thing I like to do-read books, hang out with my kids, paint, dance naked through the wilderness, you know, FUN stuff.

    This is the approach my ESFP sister takes. I envy her. She just ignores bills, lives in the moment, loves her kids and then gets evicted. Her social network includes a series of men who she can live with/get money from and a series of social organizations that she can get groceries/bills paid from.

    She has the local churches and food banks on a system as you cant hit the same place up again more than a few times before they get suspicious. She is also very grateful for toy drives and school supply drives as that leaves her able to spend her money on other things like taking all the kids to six flags for vacation day or buying them even more Christmas toys, because why not buy a $440 Barbie jeep, when you cant pay your rent?? She also appreciates it that rent-a-center allows her to pay month to month for her big screen TV.

    Her and friends are very grateful for the Earned income credit the government supplies-so grateful, most don’t have jobs but concocted a daycare plan among all of them to maximize returns/tax credits. For a bunch of high school dropouts I was quite amazed at how well they understood the fiscal conservative principle of maximizing individual returns in an economic system. They aren’t stupid, just lazy.

    She uses food stamps to buy candy at the convenience store and feels that she earns it as our dad paid into the system.

    Holy shit, this just turned into an Fi rant, sorry.

    So, back to my original point-Te sucks for FPs to learn.

    However it Te is the glue that holds our society together in terms of what we owe another and how we can each reach our own wants, while contributing to the survival of the group as a whole, via working and being accountable to others. We progress and sustain as a group, not as an individual. Thus we each give up some of what we want, our own desires for fun and play, recognizing that by working and contributing to the whole group, it helps everyone survive, and thus helps us and our children survive.

    As FPs, we have extraordinarily strongly held values that we want to see make a difference in helping others. By developing Te skills, this gives us the logistical capability to bring those Fi values into reality. Te is a useful tool for getting things done, things that we believe in strongly, and helps us make those around us happier.

    So, why is enablement evil? Why is helping others hurting them?

    By not forcing others to learn how to work hard, to learn how to face difficult challenges, to self-organize and overcome difficulty, to be accountable to others for not meeting their obligations, these FPs are never forced to develop those rudimentary Te skills. They simply float along in a sea of fun playtime or misery. By giving them challenges, hardship and then allowing them to self-organize to overcome that hardship-they leave having a new tool in their toolkit to apply in the future. They can do really amazing things.

    They had no idea how truly much they could accomplish, how awesome they could really be as a human being, until they were forced to do so in a tough situation and overcame tough odds. The sense of self worth and accomplishment that brings is impossible to replicate via external praise or messaging.

    This is why programs like tough love or outdoor challenges type camps can have such a significant impact on some kids. It is also why sports, music, and other types of extracurricular activities can be so beneficial to kids.

    So I guess I just see excessive pandering to the poor to be…almost insulting.

    Almost like they could never rise above what they are, even if they wanted to. I see these programs give them help, but simultaneously prevent the individual receiving help from having to solve their own problems and learn to think proactively and accountably and to grow and become something more. By giving the person help, you prevent them from ever developing the skills they need to not need your help.

    By helping them-you hurt them and oppress them. By helping them-you never teach them how to help themselves and you force them to remain in thier current social state of needing enablement.

    I am not saying we should not help them poor-especially poor children. But I do think the general mindset I see of extreme sadness and sympathy for the poor to be just a bit misguided in america. Our poor have iphones and big screen TVs and get free food, housing and shelter. We have taken the final step of providing the poor with health care and they already receive a free education. Any poor person can qualify for a shitload of low interest student loans to go to college.

    It is like our poster child, our mutually shared projection of the "Poor person" isnt a real good match for the reality of what the low income person is.

    But the "poor person" projection is waved around and if you have the balls to question any program destined to help the poor, or request aaccountability, well obviously you HATE the poor and want to opress them and dont love poor single moms and want to feed poor children to killer whales while fat cat capitalists bath naked in piles of money.

    What I would like to see in place is that hand-in hand with helping the poor, is that we force accountablity and request ownership from the poor-We can help you but how are you helping youself?

    Additionally, I think it is okay to ask them to give up some of thier Fun in trade for getting this help-for instance my sister once had the opportunity to live in a nonreligious home for single mothers. They recieved a place to live, food, free daycare, no need to work and relative privacy and were asked to attend the local junior college. The limitation was that they could not have men stay over and they could not go out every night of the week. She turned this down and instead had an abortion and then moved into her other child into an office with one of her guy friends.

    Nowdays the sister finally ran out of options-all of the guys got wise to her and the social orgs figured out her patterns. Then her last guy went to prison...suddenyl she had to do this amazing thing-get a job.

    She said "wow, I had no idea how much work I could get done and that I could support myself, by myself, without having a man around."

  2. #2
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Yeah I agree with pretty much all of this. I feel like I need to read it more closely and I'm in a hurry - but I agree, it shouldn't just be about helping (which can easily cross into enabling), but helping + assisting them towards being able to help themselves better.

    People like your sister - I kind of envy and despise at the same time. Mainly the latter. There will always be people in life who say "go with the flow! Don't worry about things like bills! It will all work out, God will look after you!" etc. I actually do believe that God will look after me but I also believe that I need to do the normal things like work and pay bills! I really feel that these kinds of people who seem to have these carefree lives are basically living off others in a lot of cases and expecting others to pick up the pieces of the mess they left behind. I hate that.
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  3. #3
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Help is disabling when it is the wrong kind of help. Handouts and freebies do not encourage self-sufficiency in someone who does not already have that mindset. They are much easier for the rest of us to supply, however, after which we can pat ourselves on the back for having done our good deed for the day. Real help involves commitment, investment, understanding the whole of a person's situation, not just the fact that they have no food in the house, or haven't had a job in 2 years. We are much worse at providing this kind of help because it takes sustained effort, and requires us to see and treat the recipients as real people, not just statistics in a report.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    I am not saying we should not help them poor-especially poor children. But I do think the general mindset I see of extreme sadness and sympathy for the poor to be just a bit misguided in america. Our poor have iphones and big screen TVs and get free food, housing and shelter. We have taken the final step of providing the poor with health care and they already receive a free education. Any poor person can qualify for a shitload of low interest student loans to go to college.
    I generally agree with your sentiments, but just what do you propose as an alternative to handouts? Your area sounds like a paradise for the poor. Where I live, the foodbanks routinely run out of food, medical care for the un-or underinsured is what one can get in the emergency room (and even Obamacare will not help the poorest of the poor), education is terrible in the communities with lowest housing costs, and it is not uncommon for poor kids to have to drop out of college when tuition goes up, or they need to pitch in at home.

    Yes, sometimes people just need a quick handout to tide them over, but most of the time, the factors that contribute to someone's lack of self-sufficiency are too complex for that, and require a more holistic solution.
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  4. #4
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    In my hometown in Canada there is a major problem with people living on the street. (It is an expensive city which is part of the problem, no doubt, but also it has a good climate and it is a known fact that people even move there from other parts of the continent to live on the street.)

    I find the culture massively entitled - there are all sorts of services available and also a lot of services which enable drug habits (travelling needle exchange, etc etc). I can understand the practical value of this in the short term but it seldom seems to be the case that people are encouraged to get out of their situations. Anything I've ever seen on the news is all about providing services. Not so much helping people to get out of their situations (ie. more training, drug rehab, etc).

    I'm not sure what the solution is but the upshot is that people view this town as a soft touch - and on the flip side if they withdraw some services or if people complain about street people peeing in public places, stealing shopping carts to wheel their stuff around, shooting up in parks, etc - the town is demonized as being sooooo mean to its "street community". Then again, that's Canada for you - politically correct to a ridiculous degree.
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  5. #5
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I've been on the other end of that. People just assumed I wasn't helping myself, when I lost the bussiness. They did the "tough love" thing when it was absolutely detrimental. Plus people are arseholes. I'd pretty much canvessed the closest suburbs around me for work, any work. Nobodies going to hire a (formerly former ) scientist to flip burgers, or clean toilets, and there were absolutely no jobs for my field of work ( a pretty rare occurance). Yet I'd got lectures from certain people because they assumed I wasn't trying hard enough. The really stupid thing is if I was gainfully employed at the time, some of these people would have been well under me in both in social stature, and well, social class, and I really don't think in those terms but I was so aware of it at that point. They couldn't understand why people wouldn't give me a cleaning job.
    My point is I think people can get their wires crossed as to who needs help and who doesn't.
    I am some what aware I'm some thing of a rarity though, in that I really did just have bad luck, and did find work...I've been told this on several occasions from different sources. I'm generally don't find it difficult to pick up work in my field.
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  6. #6
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrystalViolet View Post
    Hmmm, I've been on the other end of that. People just assumed I wasn't helping myself, when I lost the bussiness. They did the "tough love" thing when it was absolutely detrimental. Plus people are arseholes. I'd pretty much canvessed the closest suburbs around me for work, any work. Nobodies going to hire a (formerly former ) scientist to flip burgers, or clean toilets, and there were absolutely no jobs for my field of work ( a pretty rare occurance). Yet I'd got lectures from certain people because they assumed I wasn't trying hard enough. The really stupid thing is if I was gainfully employed at the time, some of these people would have been well under me in both in social stature, and well, social class, and I really don't think in those terms but I was so aware of it at that point. They couldn't understand why people wouldn't give me a cleaning job.
    My point is I think people can get their wires crossed as to who needs help and who doesn't.
    I am some what aware I'm some thing of a rarity though, in that I really did just have bad luck, and did find work...I've been told this on several occasions from different sources. I'm generally don't find it difficult to pick up work in my field.
    I can kind of relate to that... I haven't really been seriously out of work but when I was having trouble finding something consistent, or whatever, I've had the sort of "oh, university is a waste of time. Why don't you just get a cleaning job and do a good honest day's work?" thing.

    What really annoys me, as per the OP, is people who think it's somehow their right and privilege to completely live off the system and be complete wasters. Or they don't know any better (?) and don't seem to have any opportunities to learn otherwise.
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