Letting someone take responsibility for themselves is the art of letting go. Let go of the idea that you are their answer. Let go of the idea that they won’t be able to survive. Let go of the fear that you’ll be responsible.
Of course, when they give you the impression that you are their only hope when they ask you to do more stuff for them or give them more money, it’s easy to think that you need to keep covering their butt.
That’s pretty much what happens when a person’s growth is stunted by dependence. They don’t know anything but dependence, and they won’t tell you to stop helping them. That’s when you have to do the right thing and make the decision for them. Teach the bird to fly on its own.
This is precisely where the government gets it wrong, nearly every time. When you have a lot of power (given by the people) and society (people) is telling you it is your job to give them lots of money (taxed from the people), that’s a lot of social pressure. However, you might still be willing to play the role of the responsible parent and use the word “no” a lot when dealing with your kids (people). You may even feel good about it until your colleagues start telling you that you aren’t being compassionate enough. Now, by instinct, you know that being responsible with taxpayer’s money is compassionate of itself because it teaches people personal responsibility and it helps you avoid bankrupting the country. This all seems fine and dandy until the media gets involved and they start telling stories on TV about how you hate poor people. That’s when you may start wanting to give in to that social pressure because now your job is on the line. Suddenly, you start worrying a little less about the right thing, and start worrying a little more about the next election cycle.
It’s at this point that people are thankful we have a way of ousting politicians who trade their integrity for self-congratulating, media induced compassion.