Yesterday I saw a student depart. I've known him since 2008. I've known him to be troubled for some time. Yesterday he withdrew from school. Withdrew may as well be a euphemism for dropped out / kicked out. With six weeks remaining until graduation, and no possibility of earning a passing grade in some critical courses, he withdrew.
He exhibit some symptoms that made me think he's battling an addiction, which is sad, but a problem I'm unequipped to help. For some reason, it's easy for me to say that this isn't a problem I can solve, I'll trust others (parents, counselors, administrators) to make an attempt at solving it. They might succeed, they might fail. I tolerate the ambiguity.
Often I find it tempting to get too involved helping others solve problems. Usually, others seek my help. Sometimes I jump in because I think my help is desired. And in the last months, I've gotten burned a few times helping in those situations.
I think I made the right call gauging my involvement with that troubled child yesterday. It's not a problem I can solve, aside from being a stable, honest, and caring adult who shows that he likes the child. I need to apply this mentality to other situations so I can more wisely put my time and energies to use.