Yesterday a student came to my desk during writing time for some more therapy. He was still in a rut and wanted me to hear the same excuses and possibly for me to give the same advice. Or not. Maybe he just needed someone to listen to him.
I listened, but I kept wishing he would just go back to his seat and work on the writing he kept putting off. I care about this student, I just had a different on-the-spot agenda for him than he had for himself. After half the class period had passed, he reached a resolution and gained some fortitude.
It wasn't until I was driving home, that I realized, I too was in a rut. My own advice and the student's lamentations had woken me up to my own rut.
Life experiences and judgments have taught me that the people we encounter are most often mirrors to our own needs, strengths and faults. I wonder if the student was subconsciously drawn to me (we were like-minded and I was his mirror)? In our similar circumstances, our interaction was the catalyst for helping each other--even if I thought I was the only one giving help. I conclude that in the helping of others, we always help ourselves to a greater degree. Even if we don't think we need the help.