In an episode of The West Wing, the White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry tells Josh Lyman in the following story. In the story, Spencer is describing his character’s relationship with Josh Lyman as a mentoring one.
“A man was walking along a sidewalk when he fell into an unprotected hole. He could not get out. A doctor came along and he cried out for help. The doctor wrote him a prescription, threw it into the hole and continued walking. Then a priest came along and he cried out again. This time, the priest wrote down a prayer, threw it into the hole and continued walking.
Finally, a friend came along. His response was to jump down into the hole to comfort the man. The man said ‘What was the point of that? Now we are both stuck down the hole.’ ‘Ah’ replied his friend ‘but I have been here before, and I know how to get out.”