At the end of my shift at the winery last night, my neighbors David and Ray stopped in for some drinks and to drop off presents for me. I had watched their chickens and cats while they were away for the holidays so they brought me,among other things, a box of divine chocolates from Amsterdam, where one member of their family had been traveling.
Of course I protested the box of chocolates, saying it was the New Year and, oh my, I didn't need the calories. Once I got home however, I will tell you that within four hours, the top layer of chocolates in the box was gone, and I was probably the biggest consumer of it. And they were delicious.
Likewise, I gave them a cookie tin last month for Christmas, filled with chocolate toffee bars and maple cookies. At the time they protested, but told me yesterday that they polished the whole tin off within a day as well.
Bottom line is this: We are all enablers. And, most of the time, that's OK.
But there is a serious side to this, too. Friends, family and even people you don't know can often be the worst influences in our lives. Sometimes, like with the chocolates and the Christmas cookies, it's a fairly harmless thing (well, except for your waistline). But in the world of your acquaintances or internet friends, enablers can be your cheerleaders, causing you to think bad ideas are good and destructive tendencies are healthy. They can cheer you on to make the most horrible decisions, merely because where there's no accountability, there's often no morality.
Want to see if you can survive for a year eating only McDonald's? Bet you'd get plenty of "likes" for that if you created a website documenting it. Want to quit your job and live in the city park? Someone will want to see you do it. They may even send you money to help encourage you to go for it.
But really, the only true enabler is yourself. The old adage your mother used to say, of, "if your friends told you to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you?" is true. If that is the basis upon which you make decisions, you will make crappy decision after crappy decision. Other people cannot always be relied upon to tell you what is best for you. Only you can do that.
Consumption of chocolate and Christmas goodies are places where allowing yourself to be enabled can be OK. As long as you know where to draw the boundaries. Because, bottom line, all enabling begins at home. You are, really, the one holding the scepter, king or queen of your world, making the final decision for how your life is managed. Rule wisely.