Imagine that you have an adult child or spouse or an elderly parent with a mental or physical disability. For decades, you've done everything (medically, financially, physically, emotionally) you can to help them, but they either do not improve, or they get worse. Eventually, being around them causes you great pain and interferes with your ability to enjoy life. But you love your family member, and you feel a responsibility for them, so leaving or putting them in a care facility would cause equal or possibly greater pain of a different kind. It's no-win; either choice leads to pain.
How would you work through a situation like this? Do you just grit your teeth and suffer? Or is there another way to look at it?
asked Jan 14 '12 at 21:27
If both choices are, to you, really, truly, equally bad, then which choice you make is really irrelevant. So rather than agonizing over this choice, make it, get past it, and start focusing on what (perhaps small) ways you can improve your life.
Such perfect equality of the two choices is improbable, though.
Perhaps instead, you are conflicted: you want freedom to live for yourself, but along with the freedom would come tremendous guilt. Would that guilt be rational? If not, then it would be self-betrayal to continue as personal care-giver. If the guilt would be rational, it would be self-betrayal not to continue as personal care-giver.
Somehow, you'd need to find the choice which you'd be most happy and proud with.
Life is about concerning yourself with how you can become happier. Bad things might happen to you, but you cannot let this cause you to give up the pursuit of happiness long term.
John Galt's oath states: "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."
You must ask yourself: "Am I now living for myself? Or am I living for another person's sake?" Would this person you are caring for want you to sacrifice your long-term happiness for their sake?
What about the other people in the world whom you love, or might love? Do they deserve to be neglected because of the disabled person in question?
answered Jan 16 '12 at 13:05
John Paquette ♦