I was walking in the airport a few weeks ago when I encountered a disconcerting scene.

An obese woman was walking slowly, pulling her luggage, when one of those golf cart type vehicles pulled up beside her. The driver asked, “Want a ride?” The woman got in the cart, which took her the rest of the way to her gate.

I was outraged. 

Before you get all up in arms and leave me nasty comments about how I’m not sensitive to the needs of others, hear me out.  I’m all for helping people in need, especially the handicapped or elderly.  But this woman wasn’t handicapped or elderly.  She was overweight.  Overweight people need exercise.  I have no doubt that she would have made it to her gate approximately 50 yards away without the lift from the cart seeing as how she wasn’t struggling.  The driver was enabling her to be lazy.

“Enabling is often done unconsciously and with the best of intentions,” according to therapist Lisa Booth. Enabling isn’t limited to offering rids in airports.  We’re enabling if we give into a bully’s (or a child’s) demands; purchase alcohol for an alcoholic; taking over chores to avoid complaints from family members.  I’m guilty of enabling at work by not delegating jobs – because I’d probably do it better/quicker anyway.  We often justify our behavior because it’s “just easier” that way, but the truth is, we’re condoning others’ lazy, destructive, or unhealthy behavior.

*stepping off my soapbox now.


~ by Serena on April 1, 2011.

One Response to “Enabling”

  1. I agree wholeheartedly.

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