Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fixing people

Stop trying to fix them.

That was a subhead in Yona Lunken's e-letter that I received this morning. He went on to say, "As a culture we keep thinking that if we just point out someone’s weakness and then give them training for that weakness, they will be fixed. This just doesn’t happen."

As an undergraduate I studied social work and then earned a Master's degree in counseling. You could say I was interesated in fixing people. I didn't think training would fix people but I was focused on people's weaknesses and I thought counseling would fix people.

I'm not against counseling. People close to me have benefitted greatly from therapy.

Yet on my own journey I have begun to appreciate how each of us is a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses. I don't spend a lot of time trying to fix my body so that I can walk long distances. Instead I hop in my wheelchair (well, not exactly hop--smile) and get busy doing the things I'm good at.

As Yona says, "Rather than trying to fix someone, find a way to diminish or ameliorate the effects of their weakness so that their talents can shine."

That's the wonder of families and workplaces. In groups our strengths and weaknesses fit together to create a beautiful mosaic.

I'm not talking about adultery or theft--those are mloral failures, not weaknesses. When I talk about weaknesses and strengths I'm talking about things like I am a pretty good writer and pretty lousy at keeping my office in order.

Our weaknesses naturally create space for other people's strengths.

You can subscribe to Yona's free ''Thinking Skills Seminars Newsletter'' by e-mailing him at

(By the way, can anyone tell me how to create a link for an e-mail address in blogger so that the reader can click on the e-mail address and go directly to their e-mail program with the address inserted in the "To:" box?)