I am responsible to people, not for people. – Zig Ziglar
I read those words today in the book my significant other has and that I peruse on a regular basis: Success for Dummies. I may have read them before but today they stuck out.
I can give you the tools and it is your choice what to do with them.
Recently I find myself mulling this thought over. A lot of what I do now is having responsibility for people: family members, patients. In these cases, this changes. When I did substitute teaching and other work along that line, again, the students were my responsibility for that amount of time. Yet in those cases, this statement also applied because I gave people what they hopefully needed but I know not always wanted.
Yesterday I had a conversation with someone about book suggestions for a younger family member. The family member only has, like many people, an interest in a specific area of literature and isn’t open right now to trying different things. The person I was having the conversation with was trying to go through their own collection to find what they could for them. I managed to give some ideas and websites where they could get more information. Will the person I was talking to use the information? I hope so. This is as far as I can go.
It’s a mantra to remember. I can’t live another’s life for them and can’t force certain things. I can only give so much sometimes and then the frustration, burnout and burndown begins. I don’t like reaching this point and when others have opened up and shared, they don’t either.