“Stop blaming systemic failures on individuals trapped in that system. Fight for people to have better choices.”
Okay, I shall not link to that quote, but I got some powerful disagreements with the statement above. Does anybody believe in personal responsibility anymore??
I am a huge fan of personal responsibility. Are you covered in zip ties and locked in a basement somewhere? If not, than you are not “trapped.”
I suppose that you could be philosophical here and determine that we are all trapped in these biological bodies, stuck on the third rock from the sun, and spinning wildly out of control in a world run by a bunch of deranged, hairless apes. However, even if that were actually true it would mean we are all in the same boat. So it is not as if some people have no access to good choices because someone else is hogging them all.
“Fight for people to have better choices.” So how do I fight for people to have better choices? Convince them they are powerful and that they do have choices. It sounds very simple but I assure you it is not. People are really resistant! To be responsible also means to be accountable. I have a batting average of convincing people they actually “want” to be accountable for their own choices that is just, well, deplorable. We might as well be playing T-ball here. But still, I try to remind people that they have power and they have choices. That is the first step. Stop pretending you are just a hapless victim trapped in a “system.”
Apparently Oprah currently needs my help, because she too has jumped on the Powerless Bandwagon to Nowhere. Oprah with her fame and her billions and all the power that goes along with that, is feeling as if she is a victim of systemic failures. Well, aren’t we all?! I live in the 9th circuit of hell for crying out loud! Trust me, I know all about “systemic failures,” up close and personal, in living color. As if that is not galling enough, powerful people like Oprah expect the little people in the trailer park like me, to do something about her uncomfortable feelings.
So I will. The cure is to stop blaming your feelings on everybody and everything but yourself. Seriously, take some personal responsibility. Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission. Nobody can convince you someone else is hogging all the “good choices,” without your permission. That is an exceedingly dumb concept, by the way.
So how do I feel when I read something like, “Stop blaming systemic failures on individuals trapped in that system. Fight for people to have better choices?” Disrespected. Patronized. Shamed. Like I must be a slightly stupid child in desperate need of a rescuer. Full of self doubt. Confused. Robbed of power. Hopeless. Despairing. Weak. Fully dependent on the goodwill of others. Ironically, I’m actually starting to feel a wee bit trapped…
I could go on and on, but you get the general idea. Those kinds of words that are perhaps sometimes well intentioned, actually rob people of their choices, deprive them of power, and convince them that the fight is over before it’s even begun. We might as well just be saying, it’s such a shame you’re condemned to be an epic failure because you’re powerless and trapped in a system that hates you.
“Systemic” is all the rage right now, a very fashionable word with about as much vague meaning as “sustainable.” It’s kind of fun however, one of the original definitions of “systemic” before the world went mad was, “a pesticide that as used is harmless to the plant or higher animal but when absorbed into its sap or bloodstream makes the entire organism toxic to pests.
That right there is why we all really need the Lord! A good infusion of His royal blood absorbed right into your very sap will make you toxic to pests.
Trust me, you need to be systemically inoculated. The world is just plumb full of annoying little pests.