Help or deception?

June 29, 2013

There’s an old spiritual story I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, in which the adult male tells the young girl he’ll be back, she should keep the household going until he does.  And he doesn’t.

He thought he was giving her hope that would buoy her through hard times until she was old enough and experienced enough to perform her role comfortably, to survive on her own and care for her younger brother.

I now wonder whether the adult male was engaging in a distorted version of attempting to provide a “flight control system” that would disguise the difficulty of the situation.

In the case with the young girl, the device did not give her something that made her tasks easier, and once she became overwhelmed and/or realized he was not coming back, she succumbed.  It was an inadequate version.

But it could be made to work in other circumstances — an older person in her role, for example, would help, even if that person lacked other elements needed to go it alone.

And when enough of the factors that led to the original scenario’s being unworkable were adjusted, she survived her ordeal long enough to be able to find the man who made the false promise and tell him, “You didn’t capture an important element of the technique.  It’s not about fooling someone in the sense of a deceit that is convenient to the deceiver, it’s about figuring out a help that actually makes the tasks easier for the other person.”

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One Response to “Help or deception?”

  1. Matthew Brooks Says:

    At the very least, because faith/trust itself is a primary requirement for being a normal, healthy human being; it is our ability to connect with one another, since we are a social species. If and once it’s lost, all the technical ability in the world can’t compensate – something like a shell or an automaton at that point.

    Connecting the young girl with others close to oneself (friends, family) makes the most sense; it fulfills both the material and interpersonal requirements.


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