Pop-Up Sermon: Stop Crippling People

Stressful Practices

(Photo Credit: Odyssey)

Although a true commitment to helping people is commendable, don’t become their crutch—don’t cripple them. At some point, you have to allow them to do things on their own. Yes, show them how it’s done, and then leave them to demonstrate that they want to put your teaching into practice. If you fail to end an unhealthy practice of attempting to solve everyone’s problems, or fail to discontinue doing everything they don’t want to or cannot do, then you’re placing yourself on a path to experiencing serious mental health issues (if you don’t already have them).

When will people ever grow if you never give them an opportunity?

Without a change of these toxic practices, people will take advantage of you—and you may never recognize it. You will inevitably destroy your body by trying to be a Superman or Superwoman for everyone. Let me take a moment to unsettle you: you’re really not a Superman or Superwoman—you’re really a “do-boy” or “do-girl,” meaning you’re getting used, hoodwinked, bamboozled.

Ameliorate the quality of your life by teaching people how to execute tasks, and then let them do the work. Learn to be more than a crutch for others.


Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sometimes You Gotta Ride Solo

At some point you simply have to stop just dealing with the problems that the people around you cause for you. At some point you simply have to accept some of the responsibility for allowing the people around you to cause problems for you, especially when you voluntarily hang around or associate with them. Sometimes the things that people around you do just get old. Some people refuse to change and grow. Although it may be difficult to do, you have to make a decision to ride solo sometimes. To “ride solo” means to do things alone for a certain period of time and be alone for a certain period of time. The period of time that you ride solo can range from a day to a year. I would not recommend that you ride solo for more than a year because everyone needs someone at some point. However, you should make sure that if you start hanging around those same people again or associating with them again, make sure that they have made some significant change and/or have grown.

You also have to come to the realization that you just need to no longer hang around and associate with some people. One of the benefits of riding solo is you have an opportunity to begin to see just how much mental, emotional, and/or physical stress that people manufacture for you. Again, you have to own some of the responsibility for allowing this to happen. You don’t have to sit there and wallow in self-pity about what you let others do to you. All you need to do right now is make a serious commitment to ride solo when the appropriate time emerges.

When you ride solo, it does not necessarily mean that you don’t like, love, or are angry with the people you separate yourself from—it just means that you are distancing yourself from them because it’s the best thing for everyone. You should take some time each day to pray, critically think, and/or meditate so that you will be able to comprehensively analyze the phenomena and people in your life. One thing you are going to have to resolve is what level of involvement is best for you to have with the people and things in your life. Don’t continue to let people and things frustrate you daily. You have the power to change how you interact with people and things. When you appropriately change how you interact with people and things, then you give yourself an opportunity to progress.

To ride solo does not mean that you have to become completely selfish. You should, however, know that you need to reserve a modicum of selfishness to ensure that you are taking the proper care of yourself and that you are working zealously to advance yourself. You have to love yourself enough to know that there’s not anything wrong with promoting, marketing, and working to progress yourself.

When you ride solo, you have an opportunity to self-heal. Having people around you all of the time can prevent you from doing the critical reflection and self-critique that is vital to improving yourself. Sometimes what you should be striving for when engaging in self-critique is not renewal, but becoming brand new in many ways. Some stuff you need to bury and not renew it. There’s no need in continuing to renewal stuff that’s not any good to keep anyway.

Don’t let people zap the life out of you. You should not have to baby and spoon grown people for the rest of their lives. At some point, grown people have to stand on their own two feet without you holding them up all the time. This means that you will have to ride solo from those who you really support for a certain period of time to give them an opportunity to learn things on their own, evolve, and recognize their own purpose and destiny.

Some people feel like they have to be in a relationship to be fulfilled. You don’t need to be in a relationship to be complete. You should not allow anyone to pressure you into a relationship and/or into marriage. Don’t feel compelled to have a baby to satisfy anyone else’s expectations. Don’t have sex with anyone just to satisfy people’s expectations. There’s no need to try to make sure that everyone knows that you are in a relationship and/or that you are having sex. Don’t advertise the sex you are having and don’t go to extremes trying to make sure that people hear you having sex. Know that there’s not anything wrong with being single. There’s a certain beauty in being single and your possibilities are limitless when you’re single. You have to be able fulfill yourself first before you can effectively and appropriately fulfill someone else. Live for yourself first.

Learn when it’s best to ride solo.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison