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Giving Up is a Good Idea Sometimes

Just saw a post in Google+ to­day by Aman­da Blain, where she shows a pic­ture of a book say­ing this:

Nev­er give up on any­body. Mir­a­cles hap­pen ev­ery day.


Of course, no, they don't hap­pen ev­ery day. They hard­ly ev­er hap­pen or nev­er hap­pen, de­pend­ing on how you de­fine mir­a­cle. Things that hap­pen ev­ery day are not mir­a­cles, they are com­mon. It's cheap­en­ing the word.

I did re­ply, though:

If god is almighty, pray for the con­ver­gence of the -1^n se­ries, and see how it work­s. There is no god but math.


Which is quite a trol­l, even for my stan­dard­s, but hard to ar­gue with, I ex­pec­t. This post is a more se­ri­ous re­sponse to that orig­i­nal quote. And my re­sponse is, some­times, you need to give up. Fur­ther, some­times, not giv­ing up is stupid, painful, dan­ger­ous and self­ish.


Peo­ple don't re­al­ly change all that much. They do it very slow­ly, when they do. And you are not (usu­al­ly) the oth­er per­son­'s guardian. There comes a point in peo­ple's lifes where help­ing them hurts them. Or worse, hurts the one help­ing.

Con­sid­er an abu­sive part­ner. Why should you not give up? Why al­low him/her to hurt you fur­ther, in hope for a fu­ture change? That is just stupid and...


Be­cause you are be­ing hurt, ei­ther in body or in mind. And be­ing hurt is, of course, bad. So why en­able it? Why al­low some­one to cause you pain, just for his own sake? What are you telling that per­son? That you feel good about help­ing those who hurt you? That is...


Be­cause he may be­lieve you. You are teach­ing that per­son that you feel good help­ing those who hurt you, and that makes you a bet­ter per­son, so he may just try to help you be much bet­ter by hurt­ing you fur­ther. And re­al­ly, if that's how you feel, you are be­ing ...


Be­cause help­ing some­one just to feel self­-righ­teous and pi­ous and good is a scam. Help be­cause you make the oth­er feel good, not be­cause it feels good for you. I see peo­ple trapped in abu­sive re­la­tion­ship­s, al­most scream­ing "See how good I am! See the pain I take for love!" which is both self­ish and in­sane.

So, give up. Be­cause the path of the right­eous man is be­set on all sides by the in­equities of the self­ish and the tyran­ny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of char­i­ty and good will, shep­herds the weak through the val­ley of dark­ness, for he is tru­ly his broth­er's keep­er and the find­er of lost chil­dren. But enough is enough. And stupid is bad.

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