I had a talk with a friend today and it kind of helped me out with a problem I’ve been having in my life.
I was telling her about the various people in my life I feel responsible for. I’ve felt this way for most of my life. It seemed normal. My mother, amongst her friends, was ah-gai, older sister. She was the person everyone else came to when they have problems. Sometimes she consols, sometimes she problemsolves, other times, the person in the situation already had all the right solutions but just needed a slight nudge in the right direction. That is my mother.
I actually inherited this behaviour at a very very early age. I remember doing this as far back as grade 6.
Today, talking to my friend, vocalizing what I have been doing all these years sound weird. To some degree, it was intrusive. It was also controlling. It was caring. I know everybody always like me beter, some even look up to me afterwards.
Sometimes I wonder though: to what degree am I taking responsibility away from other people, infantilizing them. These patron/client relationships.
Who the fuck do I think I am? Godfather? Dai-lo?
James was telling me a few days ago that I should trust people, or, at least, leave them to their own device. People are more able when you trust them. I think I trust them. Especially to do things for their own good. Couldn’t I?
Besides, even if they cannot do these things for themselves better than I could do it for them, the net effect of it ó being done by that person ó will more beneficial for all. Lack of frustration on my part. Sense of success on theirs. Our relationship will be far more equitable.