...serenity in motion

Help or hinderance? How to help others without creating frustration.


Over the years, I have seen many examples of artists helping artists.  We tend to lift each other up and try to give guidance to those who are starting their careers.  If we are lucky, we get to see these artists take off and soar.  Frequently, they tend to burn out or loose focus.  It is very frustrating when we see true genius, burn out and give up.  I have known so many creative talents stand on the edge of greatness and turn and walk from the edge.  It is their choice to do so.  Giving advice to someone who doesn't want it can be similar to teaching a pig to sing; It wastes your time and irritates the pig.  We don't know if they have already tried our sugguestion or not and they may not have the time to listen right then anyway.  Don't think they are dismissing you out of hand, they might be juggling too many things at the moment and have no hand to put it in.  Offer advice, if they say "That's ok, I've got it." or just even wave you off, smile and let it go.

On the other hand; when we see someone who’s talent we admire, ride success to arrogance; it really is frustrating.  I’ll admit it, I have no patience for someone being a jerk.  Here is the thing; throwing a fit over it accomplishes nothing.  Over the years I have seen this happen time and time again.  Some of these people we have helped, ended up being jerks for years.  It never lasts, sooner or later their bad conduct catches up with them.  The show organizers get tired of complaints, buyers no longer stop at their displays, and artistic mentors no longer take their calls.  They must start over somewhere else and if they are smart, they recognize the error of their ways.  The dumb ones end up blaming everyone around them and go find an hourly wage job.

What is the moral of this blog?  Help people out as you can, and learn to recognize their boundaries.  Know it is not for you to own other’s choices or bad behavior and learn to recognize when you need to back off.  We should help each other but, repeatedly offering unwanted advice might end up just wasting your time and costing you.  Sometimes the best thing we can do is leave people to work things out on their own.  We can watch from a distance, I’ve had people do that for me (Yes I can be an idiot too).  The greatest feeling is figuring things out and getting it right.  I'll admit, most of my life lessons have been valuable and tended to stick better than any advice I have been given.