Likes trem wankery.
- Aug 7, 2008
- Reaction score
- Racine, WI
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.
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.
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 ).
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.
Again, these "penniless immigrant to millionaire" situations are extreme outliers. There is something like 45 million immigrants in this country, what percentage do you think will become millionaires by willing it so?
It's just as big of a cop-out to say that everyone just needs to "take responsibility" vs. addressing some big problems.