“Freedom guided by love is the only one that sets others and ourselves free, that knows how to listen without imposing, that knows how to love without coercing, that builds and does not destroy, that does not exploit others for its own convenience and does good without seeking its own benefit.”

– Pope Francis

I pride myself on getting things done. Task to be done at work: I'm on it. Project at home: I'm probably paying a contractor, but nonetheless, I will get it taken care of. Friend in need: just call. Every time I cross something off my list, the dopamine flows. So, when a colleague shared in a Friday meeting that she felt a little overwhelmed by a daunting set of tasks in front of her, I swooped into action. Within a few hours on Saturday morning, I sent a handful of texts and emails, and by Monday, voila! I handed her back the remaining next steps tied up neatly with a bow on top. What a guy! What a leader! What a gift I had given out of the goodness of my heart! Or so I thought. While my colleague said thank you, she didn't seem as excited about my benevolence as I was.

The next morning, I made the frequent mistake that often happens when you are a do-er. I tried to squeeze in one too many things. When I am not traveling, I always take my children to school. It's our special time together. However, we must leave at exactly 7:35am (or else). I chose to schedule a "15-minute" zoom for 7:00 am. By 7:32am, I was on my third attempt to end the meeting and noticed my wife shuttling the children out of the house. I closed the meeting and ran out to the driveway as they pulled out. I was frustrated. I just needed an extra minute. I could've done it. I wanted to do it. Just one more minute.

When my wife came back from drop-off, I shared that I just needed a minute. Genuinely surprised by my frustration, she explained that she was just trying to help me. It wasn't until then that I realized why my colleague wasn't on cloud nine from my assistance. I couldn't help but wonder how many times in life and leadership, I swoop down in the name of "helping" when really, I might be robbing someone of their purpose. How do I understand my role as husband, leader, friend in relationship to who I need to be for them, versus what I could do? And even if I could do something better or quicker, what am I doing to someone's confidence or self-worth by demonstrating my proficiency?

Our Lord never forces Himself. He waits for us to embrace our freedom and make a choice to invite Him into our lives. I decided the next time I felt like putting on my cape and trying to save the day, perhaps I should start by asking if the person even needs to be saved. As we welcome the resurrection of the Savior we all need in this Easter season, let's be sure to remind ourselves that we aren't Him! Happy Easter!

by Daniel Cellucci

April 08, 2024

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