I think this will end up being an indispensable philosophical addition to your day.


Are you indispensable?


Control out of Control

When we first joined our Sunday School group back in the 1980s there was a young wife and mother who had ALS.  She had suffered for many years and many of the group tended to her diligently.  I didn’t know her, but I heard enough to know that when she was healthy she was in charge of every minute detail of her family’s life. Everything the kids did, everything her husband did, was controlled, or was attempted to be controlled, by her.  It was a bit of a burden on the family for her to be like that but it was what it was.

I remember members coming into Sunday school and talking about how she was suffering, not just physically, but mentally as well because as she became immobile she was reduced to only being able to watch, frozen in her body, unable to control things the way she used to. It was very hard on her to watch the control slip out of her fingers.

Control interrupted

They told of her last push of control as she neared death. That was to plan her own funeral. She still had control of her eyes and they all knew when she was not happy with how they interpreted her plans. She gave them an intense look that said ‘I want it THIS way, not THAT way.’  They planned it exactly as she wanted, down to the nth degree.

When she died there was some relief among her friends and family because the struggle had been so hard and so long and her suffering had been so great.  The funeral went off without a hitch, though they did change a few things.  You can bet they were looking over their shoulders expecting her to come back and give them the stare.

Dispensing with Being Indispensable

We all have moments in which we think, the world just will NOT go on as it should unless I take control.  I am needed and without me it just will not happen.  Whenever you feel that way, stop and take the water test.  The truth is, the world will fill in.  It’s not that you will be forgotten, it’s that those around you will adapt to you not being there.  It will be hard, it will be painful and it might leave wounds and scars, but there will be adaption and they will make their way in a full world.

Our job as parents, friends, spouses, business partners, isn’t to become indispensable, because that really can’t happen. Our job is to enable, motivate and inspire those around us to be able to deal successfully with life whether we are there or not.  That is an indispensable lesson.


Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman

Quote by Anonymous



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