Sunday, April 29, 2007

Shifting the Burden

In law one party always bears the burden of proof. For example, in most criminal cases the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the person accused of the crime is guilty. In some circumstances the burden of proof can be shifted from the orginal party who bore it to the opposing party. When this occurs we generally say that the burden has been shifted.

It occurs to me that some people get through life only by shifting their burdens to other parties. I'm referring to tangible burdens such as duties or tasks, but also intangibles such as blame and responsiblity. What about emotional burdens? Did it ever occur to you that some people try to shift their emotional burdens onto others? Burdens such as pain, sorrow, worry, stress, ect.

I refer to those people who must constantly lament their troubles. Those who are forever complaining to others. Aren't these people trying to shift their burdens? Aren't they also those most likely to be shifting their duties on another occasion?

There is certainly nothing wrong with utilizing the shoulder of a friend or seeking advice. However, there is a line between lending a shoulder and lending a back. Some people want us to carry them. They want us to take on burdens we have no ownership over and, worse, they see it as our duty. Building up oneself by breaking down others is unacceptable. And doesn't it just break us down to be the recipient of a neverending diatribe of someone else's misfortunes? So if you bear a burden, bear it yourself and do not shift it to others. We are your friends, not your trash receptacles.

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