Not my circus, not my monkeys.Polish Proverb
I have this proverb, as wallpaper, on my iPhone. The moment I read it, I could relate. Even though experience has taught me better, when I see someone or something with a problem, I want to fix it.
During my career in management, there were many things I could do something about. I had control over numbers, inventory, staffing. This didn’t stop me from trying to remedy what I had no ability to fix. An employee hooked on drugs, another in an abusive relationship. If I could talk to them, get them help, I could make it better. It didn’t work. It wasn’t my tent and those monkeys weren’t paying attention to me. Eventually, they figured it out. In any case, it had very little to do with me.
I believe some of this need to fix it, comes from being a mother. When our children are little we are the ones they depend on to make better whatever is wrong in their lives and we can, usually, do it. As they become older, fixing it becomes harder. We reach a point where we have to allow them to figure it out. But really, who am I kidding? I still want to fix it. I believe wanting to help isn’t a bad thing, sometimes we just need to step away and not attempt to be the ring master in someone else’s circus.