He Who Gives Bread to Someone Else's Dog Loses the Bread and Loses the Dog. (El que da pan al perro ajeno, pierde el pan y pierde el perro.) (10-5)
It's hard to draw a clear line between the desire to help someone and the need to interfere in another person's business. With the best of intentions, we can easily overstep boundaries and get involved in situations that have nothing to do with us. It's hard to sit back and watch other people make mistakes or do things that we consider wrong. When Ofún (10) appears in a reading, it talks about a person who has a big heart and undefined boundaries. Under the influence of Ofún, we can spend all our time helping other people and give away so many of our resources that at the end of the day, we have nothing left for ourselves. We offer help, even when it's not requested, and with single-minded determination, we move in to fix problems that aren't our own. This proverb reminds us that we have to be realistic and ask ourselves why we're acting on behalf of another person, and where is that need coming from? Why do we have to try to fix the problems of the whole world?
The letter of the year has meaning on both a personal level and a more universal one. In terms of how this odu might affect the world at large, we need to think about how governments, organizations, or particular groups of people are, perhaps with very good intentions, overstepping boundaries and trying to "fix" problems that are not their own. Again, this is not to say that no one should ever help anyone, but to keep in mind that sometimes its best to let people resolve their own problems. The wisdom comes in knowing when to help, and how.