by Cindy Foster cross posted from her blog Finding Fundamental
Truth is, we all need help at times when we are the last to recognize it and I am no exception. It is at those times that our best defense mechanism kicks in–denial.
Thus, it is when we really, truly need the help, we strangely, passionately deny it. However, the one so concerned must be sure that it really is just denial before forcefully intervening.
I am not usually quick to seek help, even when I really need it. This is not a good thing and I know it. But, there have been certain people in my life who were determined to ‘help’ me when I wasn’t the one who needed it….they were.
Furthermore, the kind of ‘help’ they were pushing, was actually not helpful at all, but just the opposite.
This is the danger of being so confident in one’s perceptions of another’s life when refusing to believe that only the other person knows best what his or her own needs are.
The safest policy then, when one says they don’t need or want the help, is to believe them and back off!
So, what kind of person does this? What kind of person insists on ‘helping’ the person that doesn’t want it? And what is the ‘help’ they think is needed?
It is the “omnipotent moral busybodies” C. S. Lewis identifies and their misguided, misplaced and maligned ‘sincerity’ who are the culprits.
And what is the ‘help’ they offer? To impose their own relative values on the other. Why? Because ‘misery loves company?’ Because they feel their own lives are out of control so they need to control someone else’s? Because they are projecting their own moral deficiencies on another as a cry for the help they need? Because they really believe themselves to be intellectually and morally superior enough to impose on others?
Whatever the reason/s, known or unknown, what is known is they are sure they have the right to do so because they are sure they are ‘so right’.
But C. S. Lewis got it so right because what the ‘needy other’ is actually receiving of their impositions is “hell on earth” and “intolerable insults.” They are treated as ‘infantile’, ‘imbecile’ and ‘domesticated animals’ who have not nor ever will reach an age of reason enough to actually discern for themselves.
How utterly demeaning!
Surely, some of these ‘moral busybodies’ really are sincere in their actions, however bothersome to the others. They may only need a little enlightenment to displace their ignorance.
But for those whose underlying need is to display their superiority? Their’s is a more troubling problem.Still motivated by conscience, it is a seared one functioning as a mask to hide the real issue….feelings of extreme inferiority and insecurity.
But left to continue uncontested? Their ‘sincere tyranny’ exercised for the good of the other will become….
just plain, evil, tormenting arrogance.
Cindy Foster is “Mom” to eight gorgeous, talented, temperamental, noisy, opinionated, alike-but very different kids. She has been married to their daddy, Paul, for 36 years.
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