US Political Discussion: Biden/Harris Edition (Rules in OP)

tedtan

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…the child becomes a point of resentment for all the hardship “they’re causing” the parent.
In my experience, people who are in the criminal system, people who are addicted to various substances without mental health issues, people who are poor and living on welfare, etc. tend to blame everyone and everything except themselves. They’re all about the excuses rathe than the responsibility, so the cycle repeats with thier children, their children’ s children, and so on. And unfortunately, I don’t know how to help break this thought process.
 

MaxOfMetal

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"You can't make this stuff up"

I mean, you can kinda make that stuff up though. Seems like a real pro-life person but I just can't trust the internet, I've seen sort of "false flag" stuff. If real, wow.

It's a bait post meant to setup a bad faith argument to center the conversation on "purity".

Everyone knows raising kids in this country is a financial and social burden, so the pro-birth retort of all the hooked pro-choicers who took the bait is "well, don't be a whore".

/Cynicism
 

Randy

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"You can't make this stuff up"

I mean, you can kinda make that stuff up though. Seems like a real pro-life person but I just can't trust the internet, I've seen sort of "false flag" stuff. If real, wow.
The legitimacy of the post is less of interest to me, more the illustration of the diverging attitudes toward forcing pregnancy on people once the child becomes the responsibility of those pushing others to bear kids. Kinda wrapped that whole argument up in a neat little package.

I actually assume(d) the tweet was entirely manufactured, but the real things pro-life conservatives say are no less hypocritical.
 

RevDrucifer

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In my experience, people who are in the criminal system, people who are addicted to various substances without mental health issues, people who are poor and living on welfare, etc. tend to blame everyone and everything except themselves. They’re all about the excuses rathe than the responsibility, so the cycle repeats with thier children, their children’ s children, and so on. And unfortunately, I don’t know how to help break this thought process.

That’s way too wide of a net to throw on all those things for me to agree whole heartedly and has some heavy right-wing trope vibes.

In my experience, it’s not a lack of responsibility, it’s a lack of knowledge in choices to avoid getting into those situations. There’s now generations of learned behavior that has instilled the idea that there is no other way. If you don’t know there is another choice that can be made and you personally didn’t want to find yourself in the situation you find yourself, is it your own personal fault you’re in that situation? From an outside view it certainly appears to be, but from an internal POV it’s “This isn’t what I wanted but this is what I have to deal with, it’s not my fault, I didn’t create the world we live in”

And aside from those who were prescribed an opiate for medical reasons and got addicted that way, the overwhelming majority, if not all, addiction/alcoholism cases have an underlying mental health issue at hand. My life has been filled with addiction/alcoholism and I personally don’t know a single one who isn’t/wasn’t dealing with depression, whether they knew it or not. No one starts off saying “I want to be a drug addict”, that occurs when the way someone is feeling internally is worse off than the known repercussions of addiction/alcoholism, due to the lack of knowing there’s a different way of dealing with life out there.

In the context of criminality, while plenty of crimes are committed without a legitimate reason, there are plenty that are, or at least is perceived by the criminal as legitimate. My stepfather got arrested one night for stealing the tires off a car because he had no other way of getting to work. It certainly wasn’t to make the shitty, run down Datsun look good. A reasonable thinking person could say “Well, if he didn’t drink so much he would have had money for new tires” and duh, of course, but when you’re in that situation and know no other way of making things work, when getting sober requires detoxing in a hospital so you don’t seize and missing one day of work takes groceries off the table, there’s no one to borrow money from or hitch a ride from and the job is 25 miles away in the middle of a Maine winter, what other choices are available to the person who is supposed to be holding shit together? The guy had an 8th grade education and learned to survive on his own after being kicked out of his home when he was 13 after a horrid childhood. I can say with 100% certainty he simply didn’t know any better. He knew it was wrong, but knew no other way around it.

Both my mother and stepfather stole shit all the time and often had my sister and I keep lookout while they did it, food, clothes, random shit. When you’re 6-7 years old and your lead to believe you should have the utmost trust in your parents, what kind of mentality do you think that creates? When you’re that age, your parents do nothing wrong because of that idea they’re supposed to be the arbiters of what’s right and wrong and it’s not like they were telling us “Don’t do this, we only do this because we have to.” so when I got caught stealing pens when I was 11 or 12 and asked why I did it, my reply was “You guys steal shit all the time.” because it was totally learned behavior, despite me knowing it was wrong to do. What I learned from the people I trusted trumped the societal POV on theft.

To your point, yes, there is a shitload of passing the blame onto someone/something else. My sister is so guilty of it and despite me having numerous come to Jesus talks with her about it, it doesn’t get through. She’s been fired from nearly every job she’s ever held due to her attitude and when she’d call me and ask for money, it was always someone else’s fault for her attitude. That is 110% learned behavior from my mother.

I certainly had the same POV of “They’re just lazy and not taking responsibility for their lives” for a long time, but time has shown me a different side of things and the not taking responsibility I see as a symptom of not knowing what choices are available. No one wants to live lives like that.
 

narad

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The tweet raises the point in a nice way, but if it's manufactured, I think that's the type of behavior that just builds distrust and solidifies the "us" vs "them" type of attitude. For me it undermines the whole thing.

But one thing I guess I've made more concrete in my mind is the trend...

1. Men have worries of sexual inadequacy and fear coming up short compared to other men => women should be virgins
2. Women who aren't virgins and get pregnant must have the unwanted child as punishment. Whether the child is raised well is no concern - raising a monster child is all the more punishment.
3. Go to children and show these terrible lives of unwed mothers and use it as an effort to "scared straight" them into waiting until marriage.
4. Those girls grow up to be nice virgin women of the sort wanted in (1)
5. (Optional) Repeat, because giving up on all that fun is only validated if you do it too (or get punished), so having a bunch of promiscuous women having fun and not being punished is THE WORST.

Looking back on sex-ed in NYS, I'm just astounded by how much of it was rooted in Christian values. Might as well of had the church teach those classes.
 

tedtan

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That’s way too wide of a net to throw on all those things for me to agree whole heartedly and has some heavy right-wing trope vibes.

In my experience, it’s not a lack of responsibility, it’s a lack of knowledge in choices to avoid getting into those situations. There’s now generations of learned behavior that has instilled the idea that there is no other way. If you don’t know there is another choice that can be made and you personally didn’t want to find yourself in the situation you find yourself, is it your own personal fault you’re in that situation? From an outside view it certainly appears to be, but from an internal POV it’s “This isn’t what I wanted but this is what I have to deal with, it’s not my fault, I didn’t create the world we live in”

And aside from those who were prescribed an opiate for medical reasons and got addicted that way, the overwhelming majority, if not all, addiction/alcoholism cases have an underlying mental health issue at hand. My life has been filled with addiction/alcoholism and I personally don’t know a single one who isn’t/wasn’t dealing with depression, whether they knew it or not. No one starts off saying “I want to be a drug addict”, that occurs when the way someone is feeling internally is worse off than the known repercussions of addiction/alcoholism, due to the lack of knowing there’s a different way of dealing with life out there.

In the context of criminality, while plenty of crimes are committed without a legitimate reason, there are plenty that are, or at least is perceived by the criminal as legitimate. My stepfather got arrested one night for stealing the tires off a car because he had no other way of getting to work. It certainly wasn’t to make the shitty, run down Datsun look good. A reasonable thinking person could say “Well, if he didn’t drink so much he would have had money for new tires” and duh, of course, but when you’re in that situation and know no other way of making things work, when getting sober requires detoxing in a hospital so you don’t seize and missing one day of work takes groceries off the table, there’s no one to borrow money from or hitch a ride from and the job is 25 miles away in the middle of a Maine winter, what other choices are available to the person who is supposed to be holding shit together? The guy had an 8th grade education and learned to survive on his own after being kicked out of his home when he was 13 after a horrid childhood. I can say with 100% certainty he simply didn’t know any better. He knew it was wrong, but knew no other way around it.

Both my mother and stepfather stole shit all the time and often had my sister and I keep lookout while they did it, food, clothes, random shit. When you’re 6-7 years old and your lead to believe you should have the utmost trust in your parents, what kind of mentality do you think that creates? When you’re that age, your parents do nothing wrong because of that idea they’re supposed to be the arbiters of what’s right and wrong and it’s not like they were telling us “Don’t do this, we only do this because we have to.” so when I got caught stealing pens when I was 11 or 12 and asked why I did it, my reply was “You guys steal shit all the time.” because it was totally learned behavior, despite me knowing it was wrong to do. What I learned from the people I trusted trumped the societal POV on theft.

To your point, yes, there is a shitload of passing the blame onto someone/something else. My sister is so guilty of it and despite me having numerous come to Jesus talks with her about it, it doesn’t get through. She’s been fired from nearly every job she’s ever held due to her attitude and when she’d call me and ask for money, it was always someone else’s fault for her attitude. That is 110% learned behavior from my mother.

I certainly had the same POV of “They’re just lazy and not taking responsibility for their lives” for a long time, but time has shown me a different side of things and the not taking responsibility I see as a symptom of not knowing what choices are available. No one wants to live lives like that.
My original posts stated “in my experience”, so I was speaking anecdotally. And I never said people were lazy, I said they don’t take responsibility for the lot in life. Furthermore, I agree that the system has failed these folks, including their parents.

But ultimately, their situation will never improve unless they take responsibility for getting themselves from wherever they currently find themselves to where they want to be. No one can do that for them, they have to do it for themselves. And while its not easy, and they may not know how to do that, there are resources available to help them; you yourself are looking to become such a resource.

None of this is judging these folks, just acknowledging reality. People can help all they want, but it doesn’t do any good until we are ready to start helping ourselves.
 

MaxOfMetal

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My original posts stated “in my experience”, so I was speaking anecdotally. And I never said people were lazy, I said they don’t take responsibility for the lot in life. Furthermore, I agree that the system has failed these folks, including their parents.

But ultimately, their situation will never improve unless they take responsibility for getting themselves from wherever they currently find themselves to where they want to be. No one can do that for them, they have to do it for themselves. And while its not easy, and they may not know how to do that, there are resources available to help them; you yourself are looking to become such a resource.

None of this is judging these folks, just acknowledging reality. People can help all they want, but it doesn’t do any good until we are ready to start helping ourselves.

This just seems a little too "bootstrappy" to me.

There is just absolutely no way out for a lot of folks. So many live right on the cusp of financial ruin with nothing to pull them back. The feel good stories of homeless folks making it back to the other side are literally one in a million.

It's by no means a bug, but a feature. That reality keeps those folks in line.

That of course doesn't excuse personal responsibility, but the reality is that all the hard work in the world isn't going to do a thing when the system is designed to beat you down and will not budge.

One of the biggest lies we tell is that all you need is to work hard, stay clean, stay between the lines and the system will reward you.

Our system is explicitly designed to keep some folks down, again, feature not bug. So long as we need farm workers, slaughterhouse workers, janitors, line cooks, retail workers, etc.

:shrug:
 

narad

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My original posts stated “in my experience”, so I was speaking anecdotally. And I never said people were lazy, I said they don’t take responsibility for the lot in life. Furthermore, I agree that the system has failed these folks, including their parents.

But ultimately, their situation will never improve unless they take responsibility for getting themselves from wherever they currently find themselves to where they want to be. No one can do that for them, they have to do it for themselves. And while its not easy, and they may not know how to do that, there are resources available to help them; you yourself are looking to become such a resource.

None of this is judging these folks, just acknowledging reality. People can help all they want, but it doesn’t do any good until we are ready to start helping ourselves.

I don't disagree, but every time I read this sort of thing it reads like, "No one can do that for them, they have to do it for themselves, like I would if I was in their situation." Where's the admittance that if you were them, you might not even know where to begin to find those resources or even be aware of their existence? And then also an admittance that it's still going to fail for many, regardless of the resources. This sort of like, "while it's not easy" vibe -- like my life is easy. It was super easy to lay around for years and read books and pretend like understanding some math concept was this nearly insurmountable hurdle. Aw man, I had to spend all week on that chapter!!

I don't know how much of your world view I'm just imagining from that paragraph, but of course it's the same take on the topic that many people have -- people who certainly have never touched on anything remotely as hard as trying to break out of these sort of lives/situations, but yet are sill giving advice on how to.
 

TedEH

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their situation will never improve unless they take responsibility for getting themselves from wherever they currently find themselves to where they want to be
Nah, I 100% call BS. The whole idea of "only YOU can solve YOUR problems" is BS. Everyone can and should accept outside help for their issues, big or small. I've never seen anyone, whose lot in life was particularly bad, manage to get themselves out of their jam by going the solo / bootstraps / "personal responsibility" route. All of them needed someone around them to take 30 seconds out of their lives to be selfless for a change, and give them the push they needed in the right direction, or provide some level of support that enables them to help themselves. That's what rehab is for. That's what social work and therapy is for. That's what family and friends and reliable partners are for. That's what communities are supposed to be about. Teamwork makes the dream work.

Telling someone that their lot in life is their own problem and would be solved if they just "took responsibility" is just a roundabout way of saying you don't want it to be your concern.
 

RevDrucifer

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My original posts stated “in my experience”, so I was speaking anecdotally. And I never said people were lazy, I said they don’t take responsibility for the lot in life. Furthermore, I agree that the system has failed these folks, including their parents.

But ultimately, their situation will never improve unless they take responsibility for getting themselves from wherever they currently find themselves to where they want to be. No one can do that for them, they have to do it for themselves. And while its not easy, and they may not know how to do that, there are resources available to help them; you yourself are looking to become such a resource.

None of this is judging these folks, just acknowledging reality. People can help all they want, but it doesn’t do any good until we are ready to start helping ourselves.

I know what you’re saying and I don’t get the idea you’re intentionally calling people lazy or less-than, but there’s a huge gap between being in a shit situation and using your responsibility to get out of it. Something must occur between those two points for people to know where to direct their responsibility and that’s where the issue comes into play.

You don’t know what you don’t know.
i
 

RevDrucifer

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Nah, I 100% call BS. The whole idea of "only YOU can solve YOUR problems" is BS. Everyone can and should accept outside help for their issues, big or small. I've never seen anyone, whose lot in life was particularly bad, manage to get themselves out of their jam by going the solo / bootstraps / "personal responsibility" route. All of them needed someone around them to take 30 seconds out of their lives to be selfless for a change, and give them the push they needed in the right direction, or provide some level of support that enables them to help themselves. That's what rehab is for. That's what social work and therapy is for. That's what family and friends and reliable partners are for. That's what communities are supposed to be about. Teamwork makes the dream work.

Telling someone that their lot in life is their own problem and would be solved if they just "took responsibility" is just a roundabout way of saying you don't want it to be your concern.

Spot on.

In my case, I had zero faith in myself and was barely getting by in the restaurant business. My ex-wife‘s family was so supportive of me that their encouragement gave me enough faith that I could accomplish more than restaurant work and when I decided to go to HVAC school I went to my ex and said “I’m not going to be able to work as many shifts and I need to come up with the money for this school, can we figure out some kind of plan to make this work?” and for a couple months, she had to chip in a little extra towards bills while I saved/went to school.

Without that support system, I never would have gotten ahead and unfortunately, the people I grew up with have nothing close to resembling something like that in their own life.
 

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unfortunately, the people I grew up with have nothing close to resembling something like that in their own life.
I have a theory that people are not very good at recognizing when another person lacks a support system. The most common one I hear is "why didn't their family deal with this?", forgetting (or ignoring) that not everyone has access to helpful family members.
 

bostjan

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Even if your family doesn't help you out financially, there is a huge emotional and psychological outlet there that I think that people with functional families take for granted and people without families or with dysfunctional families don't really understand. In fact, if your family is dysfunctional, there's a good chance that a lot of your energy goes into mitigating that, or that your dysfunctional family even sabotages your potential successes. On the other hand, a functional family probably hooks you up with all sort of opportunities, from something as big as getting you an interview for a good job through their connections to something as little as recommending places of business that won't rip you off. When you integrate the value of that out over an entire upbringing, it's probably worth millions of dollars in opportunities.
 

tedtan

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This just seems a little too "bootstrappy" to me.

There is just absolutely no way out for a lot of folks. So many live right on the cusp of financial ruin with nothing to pull them back. The feel good stories of homeless folks making it back to the other side are literally one in a million.

It's by no means a bug, but a feature. That reality keeps those folks in line.

That of course doesn't excuse personal responsibility, but the reality is that all the hard work in the world isn't going to do a thing when the system is designed to beat you down and will not budge.

One of the biggest lies we tell is that all you need is to work hard, stay clean, stay between the lines and the system will reward you.

Our system is explicitly designed to keep some folks down, again, feature not bug. So long as we need farm workers, slaughterhouse workers, janitors, line cooks, retail workers, etc.

:shrug:
We are not predestined to be what the system dictates we be; we have personal agency.

I agree that the system is fucked up, especially here in the US, but that system will never lift us up in and of itself; at best, it provides a baseline and some resources for improvement. It’s up to us to take responsibility for making use of those resources and, if need be, fighting against the system when its in our best interest to do so. While the system is fucked, we can’t use it as an excuse for failing to exercise personal agency; that’s a cop out.


Nah, I 100% call BS. The whole idea of "only YOU can solve YOUR problems" is BS. Everyone can and should accept outside help for their issues, big or small. I've never seen anyone, whose lot in life was particularly bad, manage to get themselves out of their jam by going the solo / bootstraps / "personal responsibility" route. All of them needed someone around them to take 30 seconds out of their lives to be selfless for a change, and give them the push they needed in the right direction, or provide some level of support that enables them to help themselves. That's what rehab is for. That's what social work and therapy is for. That's what family and friends and reliable partners are for. That's what communities are supposed to be about. Teamwork makes the dream work.

Telling someone that their lot in life is their own problem and would be solved if they just "took responsibility" is just a roundabout way of saying you don't want it to be your concern.
Of couse people need help from others to improve their lot in life - EVERYIONE does, no matter where they happen to start out, including those that start out at the top - none of can do it entirely on our own.

What I am saying is that it doesn’t matter how much someone hepls if the individual in question is not ready to do thier part (including accepting the help). As an extreme example, if you give a severe drug addict a million dollars, are they more likely to 1) automatically check themselves into rehab, get clean, buy a house, and get a job, or 2) do a million dollars worth of their drug of choice and end up back in the same situation where they started? Option 1 is possible, but it requires the individual to exercise personal agency and be willing to make the decisions and changes necessary to effect that outcome. It doesn’t matter how much others try to help that individual if the individual isn’t serious about helping themself first.


Spot on.

In my case, I had zero faith in myself and was barely getting by in the restaurant business. My ex-wife‘s family was so supportive of me that their encouragement gave me enough faith that I could accomplish more than restaurant work and when I decided to go to HVAC school I went to my ex and said “I’m not going to be able to work as many shifts and I need to come up with the money for this school, can we figure out some kind of plan to make this work?” and for a couple months, she had to chip in a little extra towards bills while I saved/went to school.

Without that support system, I never would have gotten ahead and unfortunately, the people I grew up with have nothing close to resembling something like that in their own life.
This is an example of exactly what I’m talking about. Your ex’s family encouraged you to help yourself in life, but all that encouragement would be nothing but hot air if you yourself hadn’t taken the initiative to make a plan to go to HVAC school and improve your situation.

YOU exercised your personal agency, YOU were willing to make the decisions and changes necessary to improve your situation, and YOU followed through and made it happen. Don’t get me wrong, you had help. From your ex, from her family, from your instructors, from your fellow students, from contacts that you made along the way, etc., etc. But ultimately, YOU made the decision to excercise your personal agency, take responsibility for your life, and do what was necessary to improve things for yourself,

If you hadn’t made that decision, all your ex’s family’s encouragement would have been hot air and you would still be working retail and/or restaurant jobs.

Don’t underestimate the part you played in that equation (I’m using a math analogy for Narad :lol:).

That decision to accept personal agency and responsibility acts as a catalyst that allows us to begin making the necessary changes, to receive the help from others, to recognize the opportunities available to us, etc. It is a necessary first step. Not the be all, end all, but a necessary first step.

And I’ve seen this way, way too many time from people, mostly immigrants, who start with nothing and end up multimillionaires, always via starting a business, to accept that the system, as fucked up as it is, predestines our lot in life. We have FAR more control over where we end up than most of us are willing to admit.
 

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This just seems a little too "bootstrappy" to me.

There is just absolutely no way out for a lot of folks. So many live right on the cusp of financial ruin with nothing to pull them back. The feel good stories of homeless folks making it back to the other side are literally one in a million.

It's by no means a bug, but a feature. That reality keeps those folks in line.

That of course doesn't excuse personal responsibility, but the reality is that all the hard work in the world isn't going to do a thing when the system is designed to beat you down and will not budge.

One of the biggest lies we tell is that all you need is to work hard, stay clean, stay between the lines and the system will reward you.

Our system is explicitly designed to keep some folks down, again, feature not bug. So long as we need farm workers, slaughterhouse workers, janitors, line cooks, retail workers, etc.

:shrug:

This. 100% this. For some to be wealthy, others must be poor. They are two sides of the same coin. By its nature, the concept of wealth is oppressive. I also think that the obsessive pursuit of wealth and power is very similar to the mental illness that causes hoarding. There is a fear associated with the loss of the thing one is obsessively collecting. Under that fear is likely some kind of insecurity.

Capitalism though specifically functions on the principles of wealth. Thus creating an economic system, that like you said, features the oppression of others for the sake of personal gain. Its financial imperialism. And I think we have enough historical evidence of the horrors that imperialism causes.

Even if your family doesn't help you out financially, there is a huge emotional and psychological outlet there that I think that people with functional families take for granted and people without families or with dysfunctional families don't really understand. In fact, if your family is dysfunctional, there's a good chance that a lot of your energy goes into mitigating that, or that your dysfunctional family even sabotages your potential successes. On the other hand, a functional family probably hooks you up with all sort of opportunities, from something as big as getting you an interview for a good job through their connections to something as little as recommending places of business that won't rip you off. When you integrate the value of that out over an entire upbringing, it's probably worth millions of dollars in opportunities.

My family was sort of both sides of this. I had ADHD, and apparently it was suggested to my mom by both my doctor and my teachers, but she wouldn't listen. She also inhibited my growth in a lot of ways by being overly protective. My dad was sort of the opposite. I knew I was loved and supported, but he'd been mostly marginalized and shoved to the side by my mom. He'd never been particularly interested in having kids either. So he was kind of mentally absent. And any time there was any sort of tension between me and my mom, even if I was right and he knew I was right, he'd cave to my mom because she was so overbearing. So while being smart, I struggled with focus and caring about some subjects in school. But I could hyper focus on drawing, comics, music, video games, etc. I have to distract myself from repetitive thoughtless tasks because just thinking about starting them can cause panic. So my mom's unwillingness to come to terms with some of my limitations or willingness to see me as having a brain that was back then, seen as developmentally limited. I was left to struggle. And its only been in recent years after being a parent and seeing my children struggle with ADHD, that I've realized it's been what I'm dealing with all along. And all the depression and self doubt and anxiety are all stemming from this thing that has gone untreated for 35 or so years. Even in meaning well for their kids, parents and families who are insecure or not well adjusted do harm without realizing it. And sometimes, you don't know what you don't know because someone who was responsible for you when you were younger was ignorant, insecure, or prideful and was ill equipped to confront your struggle appropriately setting you down a long difficult road, not even having a clue what kind of help you needed but knowing something is not working. But all you know is how you things look to you.
 

eaeolian

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Looking back on sex-ed in NYS, I'm just astounded by how much of it was rooted in Christian values. Might as well of had the church teach those classes.
It was still light-years beyond what my kid just got in VA schools. Seriously, Sex Ed may have been mostly scare tactics when I was a kid in WNY, but it's still better than allowing 3/4 of the class to "opt out" of a 1950's-era set of lessons because of their "religious beliefs".
 

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And I’ve seen this way, way too many time from people, mostly immigrants, who start with nothing and end up multimillionaires, always via starting a business, to accept that the system, as fucked up as it is, predestines our lot in life. We have FAR more control over where we end up than most of us are willing to admit.
The problem with that thought process is that you're taking someone who has already seized "Agency" (to use the current vernacular), and comparing them to someone who hasn't. So you're comparing apples to oranges.
 

TedEH

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it doesn’t matter how much someone hepls if the individual in question is not ready to do thier part
I guess the problem becomes, how does a person become ready to do their part? What does "ready to do their part" really mean? What happens if there isn't time for them to get into some ideal headspace to accept the kind of help you want to give them? IMO if a person was fully ready to do their part, they probably wouldn't need the assistance. Sometimes the help a person needs is to get them to that point in the first place. I don't disagree that there's an element of personal responsibility involved - but as a talking point, it's just a short walk from "personal responsibility" to "not my responsibility".
 


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