Not Willing To Work

Laura and her husband are completely debt-free. Laura feels a compulsion to help her siblings. Should she?

QUESTION: Laura in Kansas City and her husband are completely debt-free. But Laura has some siblings who aren’t employed in addition to her kids having problems. Laura feels a compulsion to help them. Should she? Dave tells Laura they all need to get jobs, and she needs to stop enabling these people.

ANSWER: You need to ask yourself if you’d be helping or enabling these people. I’m pretty angry at your brother who won’t work and pay his rent. This guy is supposed to be taking care of his family, but his sister with a husband who works two jobs is doing it? Really? If you give him money, you are giving a drunk a drink. This guy needs to find hard times.

You say this guy is about to be evicted and didn’t keep a job for three hours because he wouldn’t cut his hair. He needs to be evicted. He’s going to have to learn how to operate in this world. You want to help him more than he wants to help him. The nicest, sweetest people I ever run into are enablers.

If your kids found out you were going to give money to this guy, they’d thump you. Not because they are jealous, but because they were raised by a mom who taught them the power of work and thrift. You’re acting like this guy has some kind of disease.

If this guy has depression, then pay for him to go to counseling if he’s willing to go. Let’s fix the problem, not treat the symptom. I think he’s arrogant and thinks it’s all about him. If he’s suffering from depression, that’s treatable. But the best thing for him might be a little desperation. It’s enough for some people to just strive for excellence. Others need something nipping at their heels. Failure scares the crap out of me so badly that I work hard.