"Happiness belongs to the Self Sufficient"
I remember when my daughter was about five years old and we were at the local park. She had climbed to the top of the monkey bars and was screaming at the top of her lungs for her dad to come and carry her down from the difficulty and discomfort she had clambered into. I will never forget the look on the faces of the other parents when I said
“You got up there – you figure it out and get down” Oh the horror…
It was as if the devil himself had spoken. An unfeeling, cruel and inhuman Borg had told his kid to figure it out on her own and I was doomed to be persecuted in the fires of hell along with icy stares and tongue lashings from those perfectly, politically correct parents. My lack of love and concern for such a young and precious child was incomprehensible. I obviously did not love my child as much as they loved theirs. How could a father be so cold, uncaring and irresponsible?
Carol Bartz, the CEO of Yahoo and a reputed tough cookie in her own right, tells this story about her childhood:
One day, my brother and I were in the machine shed when we heard a rattlesnake above us. We didn't think about running for my grandfather — we ran for Grandma. She came, grabbed a shovel, poked the snake off the rafter, and chopped its head off. This was a big snake. And as she was leaving she simply said, "You could've done that."
So do we learn more from doing stuff or having stuff done for us? Sometimes must we be cruel to be kind? Heck I don’t know - and perhaps I have scarred my child for life with psychological and trust issues so severe that they preclude normal development and growth. But when everything is said and done I believe Carol Bartz and my daughter may have both learned a similar lesson in different ways.
If you can do it yourself – Do it.