I planted a bunch of sunflowers this year. I noticed one sunflower was having trouble standing up straight, so I put in a stake to prop it up. It continued to grow nicely just like the others. Yesterday, I remove the stake. Despite the sunflower now being considerably taller, it still leaned over. It had come to rely so much on the stake that it delayed learning how to stand up on its own. Now it is learning to stand up straight, but in its current top heavy bent over position, it must now work considerably harder than its peers to straighten up. I’m sure we can all relate.
Perhaps I removed the stake too early. Or perhaps providing the stake had the unintended consequence of delaying it finding its own strength.
A few years ago I canceled my dental insurance and started going to self-pay. I noticed I immediately became fastidious at taking care of my teeth. Dental insurance was a crutch for me… with insurance I didn’t feel personally responsible for my dental health. Apparently the fear of a bill is a greater incentive than the fear of having fillings, crowns, and the lifelong loss of my once perfect teeth. I am grateful for the fear of a big dental bill!
Assistance from others can be a wonderful thing, and it can also be a liability.