What is true need?
In our lives, we have all kinds of people always needing help, the concern here, to stay horse related, that their horses then go without proper care.
We have continuous stories of people starving their horses.:eek:
I wonder what we may consider true need and when helping is needed and when enabling.
We had some of posters getting help time and again and then it finally came to light they were still not being truly helped, just helped to kept their dysfunctional ways possible.
We have many real needs where I live, people already doing the best they can and then the unexpected happens and some times, they need help, then move on once back on their feet.
That unexpected is above what can be provided for and that is where I think help is a good place to put your money and energy.
Those that let things run down hill?
Maybe not always a good place to use our meager resources?
My point, there are times we can't do much about, where "stuff" happens and we truly need help.
Then, there are some that don't care properly for their charges, go to the end of their rope and then wonder why they are there?
Don't tell me that you don't know for long time you are headed for trouble, before you run out of food, their feet are like slippers, or your horses are starving?
That doesn't happen overnight.
Why on earth don't you do something before they, oops!, just died, HELP?:(
Yes, those are extreme cases, but there are others that also whine about their needs to get help.
Some may say, well, I help where I can and if I am scammed or enabling at times, well, at least I tried.
Ok, it is your money and energy helping, of course do as you wish with it.
I think, after being taken in a few times, that is not where I want to be.
It is not really my problem when others are the grasshopper, blissfully going on without a care thru the good times and then when winter comes, crying for help, because they didn't provide and expect now the ant to come help.
This ant has other needs to fill than those of grasshoppers.:yes:
I say, there are many ways to help.
It is very nice to be able to help where we may.
It is maybe a bit foolish to do so, in today's world, without really truly knowing who is being helped.
Just more to think, when it comes to wanting to help others and their horses, as all of us do here.
The gift is in the giving.
Originally Posted by EqTrainer
My friend and mentor who I lost last year after a long illness, had to go into the hospital for a stay. The "village" of local horsemen all chipped in and we covered each feeding and turn out while she was unable to. This to me was a real show of helping and the affection we all had for her.
I know of another who is becoming a "collector". I simply suggested, as a friend I thought, that she consider lightening her load and she quickly shut me out of her life. As the saying goes "some people are their own worse enemy".
I agree. There is helping and there is enabling.
Sometimes it not about helping the person but helping the horse. It might be enabling, but the horse can't help the situation they are in. But I do see what you are saying.
But, but, how do you know that you ARE helping the horses?
Originally Posted by Chardavej
Some use horses as a prop to ask for help, we have seen those before.
Do you realize what some forums send to anyone that even hints they need help?
That may be little to a, say, rescue that cares for several/many.
For one individual, to add to their personal income?
Every bit is free to do as they wish and that may not always be what we thought we were trying to help with.
While, as already pointed out, "the gift is in the giving", I think that we should also, when giving, be somewhat thoughtful about what we are accomplishing.
As we know, that may not always be what we thought we were doing, we may not have been helping the horses after all.:no:
You know Bluey, you are absolutely right. For example, a very good friend of mine lost her husband at 40 to a massive heart attack. She was devastated, had a daughter in middle school (my daughter's school as well). Kind friends drove her daughter to school, delivered cooked meals and groceries to her house. For a month. Most of the friends wanted to continue, but they were enabling her to hide in her house. It had to stop. We slowly cut back on the meals, cut back on the carpool (at least the morning drop off).
It's a fine line between helping and hurting sometimes. Then, of course, you have those who will just take advantage...which is the true shame.
Adding to that that many time, yes, we can say what help was given was wonderful and helped greatly, where true help was invaluable.:)
Originally Posted by LauraKY
Sadly, there is more need than we can address, that is why maybe we should stop and think, before we choose where to help?
Originally Posted by Chardavej
I am all for enabling, but not in the bad way.
While it is true, the animal had no say-so in the situation, sometimes sacrifices have to be made in order to stop the bleeding.
If I ever let a fear of being "taken" stop me from helping, then it is I who am at fault.
If I fail to investigate, then yes, I can be taken. Sometimes it is inevitable.
But the good I do can be to take food, or take custody of an animal, or help to find someone a job, if I am suspicious that it's a case when they need a swift kick rather than a helping hand.
Not all who fall on hard times are grasshoppers, sometimes they are ants whose anthill has been stomped on. And sometimes they are grasshoppers that don't even realize that they are grasshoppers. Letting them and their animals starve might be a penalty too harsh.
I will always give at least 10% of my income voluntarily and I'm working toward at least 10% of my time.
Well said OneGrayPony! Give or don't give its up to the individual. A gift with strings attached truly is not a gift, you are best not to bother. Give freely with an open mind and you won't have to worry about whether you are being taken or not. You will know in your heart, you gave with good intentions and that is all that matters.
That is fine, unless the need out there, those asking for help, are so much more than you have to give.
Originally Posted by texan
Then you have to decide where your help, such as it may reach, is better offered.
If you can help and keep helping and help even some more, great, spread it to any and all.:)
Sometimes the lines are blurred and it is tough to decide if it is helping or enabling. For my own personal self, I would rather err on the side of giving a little too much rather than let true suffering continue due to a suspicious thought or two. If I find out that the gift was being abused or really not needed, I need not do it again. Each person needs to decide for themselves what they are or are not willing to do. I do agree though Bluey that too many people are over their heads for way too long and are in denial about their situation. It ultimately leads to disaster for both the people and the poor animals in these stutations. Which is a crying shame. My mom used to tell us that are needs were three hots and a cot, the rest was all wants. I think many people do confuse wants and needs.
It seems to me that for most of us horse owners, we'll give up everything before we let our horses' care and feed slip. It also seems to me that we as a group value independence and pride, as a whole ... so to admit that we're in dire straits feels shameful. Especially if our beloved horses are in jeopardy. I think that's why people let things go: because they're ashamed to admit the trouble in the first place, and they think they can keep giving up other things to support their horses.
It's not logical, you're absolutely right. When one is in one's right mind -- not stressed, depressed, or in a broken emotional place -- the obvious solution is absolutely to sell or rehome the horses or whatever, and do it in a hurry. But a bad situation and the shame that comes with it turns into stress, depression, et cetera, and logic kind of slips by the wayside for most. Failing our horses feels worse than failing ourselves.
And when one is in a bad situation, sometimes the emergency fund isn't enough. Sometimes one ends up using it all, even while being extra-frugal, and then where does one go from there? One can be completely responsible with savings and still end up at the bottom of a very dark, deep hole. Having been at the bottom of that hole, I can vouch for the fact that I and anyone else who's been there has been ashamed -- aghasted! -- at themselves already, and extra shame from outside sources only deepens the hole.
And sometimes the hole is so deep that one slips back while climbing out and needs another boost. As long as someone's climbing, the boost doesn't seem like enabling to me, at least not negatively. Enabling the person to get back on their feet, sure.
So what is real need? I suppose it depends on the giver and what that person is willing to support, how that person perceives the situation. I try to reach out to friends and acquaintances and help individuals however I can. For far-flung friends, money or things I can order online seem to help. For close friends, helping them find a job or leave a bad relationship, buying a tank of gas, bag of feed, or cart of groceries, or connecting horses with available horse homes/leases are all possibilities.
Horses need food, water, and basic health care. (So do people, but keeping it HR.) That's true need - they cannot provide it for themselves. (Mustangs in the wild not part of the discussion.) Helping a person provide that for their horse if you can, in whatever way, seems like a right thing.
TL;DR - you decide what real need is, but deciding someone doesn't deserve help feels uncomfortable to me.
It's a very blurry line sometimes. I think it's best to investigate what's happening, and make your best judgement, and then, hope that your intentions are ultimately good, and that it's the best thing for the person, animals, etc.
You have to give without any expectation of reciprocation. That could be a thank you, appreciation, or the person uses the tools given to them, uses the leg up they're given, and moves forward in a positive direction. And if that doesn't happen, well, it's disappointing, but at least you feel satisfied with trying.
Very definitely we are talking here about giving without any personal expectations.
Originally Posted by spacytracy
Most times the giving is anonymous, thru others, so there would not even be a chance of the receiving one to thank those.
I was assuming that kind of giving, without strings, of course.
Giving to someone that is really in need and that, as so many have said, is not quite that easy to determine at times, kind of obvious at others.
We have seen both right here over the years.
I know I can't just give every time someone needs something, too much need right where I am.
I have to choose a bit more carefully where to spend my reserves than those that can give and keep giving.
It's so hard. You give your reserves to someone you think really needs it, and they either squander it, don't appreciate it, or really didn't need it. Meanwhile a other person who truly could have used it, goes without.
I have all my baby stuff to someone, all the equipment, all the clothes, and haven't seen the kid in a single article of that clothing, or using any of the stuff. Ate at me! But I had to let it go. I did a good thing. The end. Can't change things now!
*** Feeling too preachy***
You can only do, what to you, in your heart feels right. If those that use your gift, do so unwisely, does not lessen the value of your giving.
I find there are usually plenty of local people in need, where there is much less likelihood of being "taken" or something, like might happen on the internet where all you might have is a screen name and a location half the country away. That, or trusted rescues/charities. You can't help everyone in the world, so I prefer to concentrate locally and at trusted organizations.