Enabling doesn’t help

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 26, 2016

At the end of a long Tuesday, I had an overwhelming desire to watch a classic movie, filmed in black and white, which to me features acting like no other.
I chose Sunset Boulevard, the story of an older silent film starlet who refuses to accept her career has ended. Gloria Swanson portrays the actress Norma Desmond and the always handsome William Holden plays Joe Gillis, the screenwriter who Desmond thinks is going to write her next comeback film.
Throughout the film, there are many people who play along with Desmond’s illusions, thereby enabling her to continue the charade. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil the ending. But I do recommend watching this film. The acting is spot-on and Swanson is completely believable as the film’s tragic actress. My favorite parts of the film involve her facial expressions, especially her eyes.
However, the final chain of events, in a real world situation, may have been preventable if Desmond received help from people in her life.
I know some people that suffer from delusions of imaginary grandeur or refuse to grow up and assume their duties as an adult.
More often than not, enablers will do something for people rather than encourage them to do something themselves such as driving a car, finding a job or making decisions.
I’m guilty of “helping” these types of people, but I’ve come to realize it’s hurting them more than helping.
In a situation like Desmond’s, telling her the truth about her “dead” career, I feel, would have been a wise decision.
Of course, the movie wouldn’t have been as engrossing, but I digress.
We are granted the free will to do as we choose, but when it significantly harms a person’s ability to function as an adult or even a law-abiding citizen, an intervention may be necessary.
The more comfortable people become with doing the minimum, the harder it will be for them to strive to better themselves and their situation.
I’ve been working on not enabling others and while it makes me feel like a rotten person sometimes, I do know that it’s for the best.

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