My son recently started picking up his feeding bottle by himself. The problem he has is he tries to get the water out without tilting the bottle. I found that when I help him lift the bottle, he simply let’s go of the bottle entirely. To me this implies he gets back to depending on me.

There is something else he does that is even amusing. He started walking about two months ago but often when you take hold of his hands he let’s himself go and you eventually have to lift him or let him crawl. Of course I know this particular one is one of his games but there is still a point to this.

The two scenarios I have briefly described are pointers to a real life lesson. There are cases where someone you are trying to help is better left to grow the muscles he or she needs to survive and thrive. Often when try too hard to lend a helping hand we rob that person of the opportunity to help themselves and to grow.

When we do help, we must do so like fellow humans who will one day have to part ways with the one in need, or who understand that we may not always be in a position to help. The one in need must know that we are neither omnipotent nor ever present.