You Can’t Save Anyone

In my article, 11 Spiritual Truths You May Want to Remember, I listed 11 short spiritual truths. It received a very positive reaction, but some people wanted a little more information about what I meant. So I’m going to take each spiritual truth I listed and expand on it, each in its own article over the next 11 weeks.

Spiritual Truth #4: You can’t save anyone. It’s not your job or your responsibility. Just be a beacon and let those who want to walk through your light do so of their own free will.

When you watch a baby learn how to walk you’ll notice it falls down quite a bit. Then it gets up and tries again. It keeps trying until it finds its balance and can walk easily and well.

But what would happen if we saw a baby fall and we picked it up and said, “Oh dear, you can’t seem to walk on your own. I will carry you. Don’t you worry.”

That would be silly right? A baby has to eventually learn to walk by itself.

Let’s fast forward to high school and look at that same child. If he’s struggling to master his coursework do you start doing his homework for him? “Oh, you failed your last exam, I’ll start doing your homework for you and taking your tests so you can succeed.”

That wouldn’t help them would it?

It’s painful to watch people that you love struggle, but sometimes they must struggle in order to learn. That doesn’t mean you can’t assist them. “Would you like to start seeing a tutor?” But if you do the work for them, they’ll just be at a disadvantage when they go out into the work force and don’t know how to solve their own problems.

I see this often in adults. “All your problems would be solved if you would just listen to me. I can save you. Heck, I can save the planet. If only everyone on the planet would (listen to this meditation, come to this retreat, read this one book, come to this one seminar, adopt this way of living… ) then we could all be saved!”

No.

Every person on this planet is walking their own path and it’s not up to anyone else to judge it. Even if you think you have the answer, that answer is not going to apply to everyone.

The best thing you can do is find your own true north and start walking. You’ll naturally attract other people who have also decided to go that way. Then you can walk together.

But never try to drag someone onto your path even if you think it’s the best path possible. People are here to learn different lessons, to explore different paths, to have different experiences.

There is no one way to live. There is no right or wrong way to live.

Now if someone reaches out to you and asks for help, give it. If someone says, “I really love how peaceful you are all the time. Could you tell me how you achieve that?” then go nuts and explain it. But let them decide what to do with the information. Don’t push.

Focus on your path. Shine your light. Help those who ask for help, but don’t run their life for them. Help them find the tools they need to succeed but don’t build their house for them.

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