How I unsuccessfully tried to help someone
Jamal is a 29 years old man with some problems. He’s been trying to meet with me for a while now.
He wanted advice on how he can transform his life.
I am not a counselor or a therapist, but apparently, I always give good advice and people around me tend to seek it constantly.
Today, I finally invited Jamal to my office for that chat he’s been asking for and we got talking. I had a list of questions to ask and wisdom to share.
Jamal has one problem, he has a story and tells it as well as if he has memorized it.
Jamal’s story is that of being adopted as a baby by an older white couple. Unfortunately, they both died just before he turned 18.
Before they did, they reunited him with his biological parents.
According to Jamal, his biological family didn’t receive him with open arms. He believes it’s because he “talks white” (those were his exact word — not mine) therefore they don’t consider him “black enough.” (whatever that is)
Jamal joined the Marines but was kicked out after two years for using illegal drugs.
Ever since, he’s been in and out of relationships, in and out of rehab, and currently living in a homeless shelter.
If you were to see this young man, you would see a handsome clean guy with a killer smile. He’s intelligent and articulate, but he’s also very lost.
What’s Wrong with Jamal?
After a long conversation, Jamal asked me what keeps me going. He wanted to know why he was so unmotivated to change his life and what he needs to do about it.
I told him that what keeps me going are all the things I care about and I went on to list a few.
Then I asked him what he cared about. I asked him if he had any passions or interests and I was surprised at the answer he gave.
Jamal said that the only thing he cares about is having sex with as many women as possible. He even got a vasectomy when he was 25 so he doesn’t have to worry about impregnating someone.