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A parable in passing [Aug. 25th, 2009|02:18 am]
[Current Mood |frustratedfrustrated]

"Help, I am drowning," the Victim cries. "I fear I must die."

"Here," say the People on Shore. "Here is a raft. You must paddle it, but it is sturdy."

"I cannot paddle," the Victim cries. "I fear I must die."

"Here," say the People on Shore. "Here is a float. You will have to kick, but it will bear you up."

"I cannot kick," the Victim cries. "I fear I must die."

"Here," say the People on Shore. "Here are others who will haul you to shore. You need only grasp onto the rope."

"I cannot grasp the rope," the Victim cries. "I fear I must die."

"Here," say the People on Shore. "Here I come in my boat. You must hold to the side while we fight the current, but it is a sound boat."

"I cannot fight the current," the Victim cries. "I fear I must die."

"Here," say the People on Shore. "Here I will bring others and they will pull you into the boat. You need only hold on until we get there."

"I cannot hold on," the Victim cries. "I fear I must die."


"Here," say the People on Shore, at the last. "Here you must die. We have offered you all we have. There is nothing left for us but to mourn you."

"No one ever helped me," the Victim cries.

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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2009-08-25 07:04 am (UTC)
Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. *facepalm*

Reminds me of the story of the man who died in a flood. When the TV news told him to evacuate, he refused, saying God would protect him. As the waters rose, a boat from the sheriff's department came to rescue him, but he refused, saying God would provide. As the flood worsened, he was trapped on his roof. A police helicopter arrived to whisk him to safety, but he refused, saying God would answer his prayers. Then he drowned, and when he got to heaven he asked God, "Why didn't you save me?" God said, "I sent the TV weatherman, the sheriff's boat, and a helicopter. What more did you expect?"
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[User Picture]From: stripedsocks
2009-08-25 10:07 am (UTC)
It reminded me of that story too.
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[User Picture]From: lurkerwithout
2009-08-25 07:05 am (UTC)
Is the Victim's legs & arms bound? Is that the underlying meaning? Did someone tie them up and toss them into the ocean? Perhaps thats why they're named Victim. Must be some kind of Mob hit...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-25 11:16 am (UTC)
The Victim certainly believes they are.
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[User Picture]From: poobah103
2009-08-25 08:47 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2009-08-25 09:56 am (UTC)
I read a book called "Games People Play". That's the classic "Why Don't You? Yes But" Or YDYB
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-25 11:21 am (UTC)
I've not read it, but that makes sense.
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[User Picture]From: stripedsocks
2009-08-25 10:06 am (UTC)
Yes. This.
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[User Picture]From: apostate_96
2009-08-25 11:41 am (UTC)
Most excellent! I've gotta point that out to some other friends of mine. Thanks for posting it!!
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[User Picture]From: roniliquidity
2009-08-25 12:28 pm (UTC)
I've seen that and certainly there's validity to it. Still on flipside there can also be people on the shore going "Have you tried to wish the water away?" "Don't worry, even if you drown, the flood happened for a reason." "Just tread water, the flood will go away eventually, I don't know what else you want me to say."
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2009-08-25 12:51 pm (UTC)
OR the other one is the list of suggestions that you already tried, and you really don't want to print out a list of what you've done.

Or people telling you there is no water at all!

I have a son with a form of autism, completely unable to speak (it's gotten worse), and mildly mentally retarded, and in need of (and on) anti-psychotic medication. He is seven.

I cannot tell you the number of people who tell me that he will talk if he wanted to. Even a trained professional, with one of the agencies that gives him services, discussed what his goals were. So we discussed communication ones. (He can communicate, just not actually speak.) We discussed the ways he communicates so his 'trainer' can advance them.

This woman, who coordinates his care at the agency said to me, "I bet if his trainer took him to an ice cream place and didn't let him have any until he said ICE CREAM, he would say it."

REALLY? You don't think we've tried using a carrot to get him to speak? His speech therapists never had that idea? His psychiatrist? His psychologists? His teachers? Everyone who has come across him?

Of course, you get used to it, and smile politely, and say something neutral like, "Oh, yes, he does love ice cream!" Because if you spent all your time getting annoyed at the stupid things people say to drowning people, you'd run out of air that much sooner.

If I had a dollar for every diet/medical/therapy/behavior plan suggested for him, we'd have enough money to buy him a round the clock nanny, I swear.
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[User Picture]From: bemused_leftist
2009-08-25 01:03 pm (UTC)
Well, if the person in the water is, say, in a sinking rowboat and would have to leave the boat to be pulled ashore -- and knows that he couldn't really hold on to the rope long enough to get to shore -- then he's right to not give up the rowboat. It's at least keeping him afloat and may drift to shore, or some new alternative may turn up.

If he says he can't hold on to a rope -- maybe he's telling the truth.

I'm not sure he should be blamed for the rescuers' lack of resources.
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[User Picture]From: custardfairy
2009-08-25 01:26 pm (UTC)
*shrugs* So he drowns either way. Still not the fault of people offering valid assistance.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-25 05:21 pm (UTC)
It was...a difficult sort of night.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-25 07:48 pm (UTC)
My point was not that there are not difficult situations for which there are no easy answers, but instead the final line of the Victim bemoaning no one offering help while clinging to their original position.
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[User Picture]From: fin9901
2009-08-25 02:13 pm (UTC)
I second most of the comments already made, especially the first comment by ccr1138.

On the lighter side, this story also reminds me strongly of Monty Python's bookshop sketch.
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[User Picture]From: bunny42
2009-08-25 05:30 pm (UTC)
Perfect! Except the bookseller held on a lot longer than I would. The guy'd be dead by now. Strangled and buried in books. And I'd be running around, drooling, a raving maniac.

Dear Abby used to say people can't impose upon you unless you let them. If you keep trying to be accommodating, eventually you become the victim, not them. Sort of like passive/aggressive behavior, although I do hate psychobabble.
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2009-08-25 04:19 pm (UTC)
I have been a Victim before. I try not to be anymore, but sometimes it's hard for me to tell. x.x
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-25 08:02 pm (UTC)
"My life sucks!" is not invalid at times - gods know I've complained. Refusing to make any accommodation to fix your problems is the issue here, and you have worked hard to do so.
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From: jennb45
2009-08-25 05:19 pm (UTC)
When in crisis the answer to the question would you like some help is yes please. Followed up by may I please have some more?

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-25 08:05 pm (UTC)
Yes, you may, dear. And you made good use of it.
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[User Picture]From: littlebuhnee
2009-08-25 06:14 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2009-08-25 07:30 pm (UTC)



Thankyou. I know far too many people I MUST send this too. No doubt they will not recognize themselves. Denial IS the river in Egypt they are drowning in.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-08-25 08:15 pm (UTC)
Please feel free to forward. I hope it helps.
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