Anne Lamott, writer and thought-provoker extraordinaire, has a Ted Talk. Who would have thought? I was genuinely surprised.
I read Lamott’s book on parenting/motherhood for a book club while pregnant with my second child, and I was torn. I liked the writing. Sometimes I liked the message; sometimes I didn’t. But I’ve always kept her in the back of my mind, looking out for her work because there is an honesty about Lamott and a generosity of vulnerability in her writing and in herself that is, at least in my opinion, rare.
So, when I saw her Ted talk come up, I clicked and was prepared for anything…good or bad….useful or not.
I was pleasantly surprised.
This talk is full of wit, wisdom, great writing (spoken) and thought-provoking insight.
My favorite line is: help is the sunny side of control.
Isn’t that the truth?
Lately, I’ve been finding myself trying to ‘help’ people.
Oh, you’re looking for a job? Why don’t I tell you what I think you’d be great at?
Why don’t I recommend a book you should read? Yes, I’ve got a list just for you.
You are struggling with parenting? Me too. But I’ll find some articles for you and suggestions you may not have considered. And lucky you….I’m studying counseling, so I can tell you all about the theories related to your parenting that might be key to explore…you know….in all of your spare time.
The best part about all of this help and advice and all of these suggestions is that you didn’t even have to ask me for it! I just have a sense (do we want to call it an empathetic connection?) that you need my help.
I’m being hard on myself, but there’s a great deal of truth to it.
Are you a ‘helper?’ Do you have ideas, suggestions, books, articles and platitudes to offer?
I am going to hopefully reform myself from ‘helping’ so much and focus on myself, my own ‘issues’ and my own struggles. This doesn’t mean I can’t help, of course, but the most helpful people I know wait until they’re asked and offer what they can. They also tell me when they don’t know what to do, don’t have the skills required to really help or flat-out don’t have time.
You know what? That’s helpful.
I think a lot of helping is, to use an 80’s term, co-dependent, which means I should go back and read the classic on this subject: Codependent No More. Has anyone read that? Good lawd, if you’re at all co-dependent, read it pronto!
There’s also an updated version of the book, which I normally would skip (assuming it is the same material packaged differently), but people rave. I do like it when people rave.
I think I know what’s going on the ol’ Christmas list this year. :)
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I was rancid, had to pull myself together and get the kids peppermint milkshakes to blow off the stink, and we all rallied and had a decent weekend. I’m off to write, attend a meeting and generally hustle some more.