The Fallacy Of Pulling Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps

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I confess I used to be on a BB in which a majority of the people were conservative Christians. I left the group because many people on this BB have made repeated attacks on those who are down in their luck,those who are poor, and those who are anything but white, etc. They constantly espouse the belief that Obama wants to take care of all these “losers” at the expense of all these good God fearing tax payers. Of course the word, Socialism has recently been introduced to instill more fear and justify their irrational hatred of Obama. In fact one person went so far as to write:

“The poor keep getting poorer because they keep doing whatever it was that made them poor in the first place. Ditto for the rich. There is nothing at all unexpected or unforseen about the behavior that’s responsible for most of the poverty in this country. If you ignore your education, fail to develop a work ethic, do drugs, get pregnant before you’re out of high school or before you can afford to raise a child, become a petty criminal, join a gang, hang with what you obviously know to be the wrong crowd, become a drinker, or generally comport yourself like a self-loathing slob, guess what? You’re probably not going to make a lot of money!” 

The tragedy of it all…their children are ethnic minorities in this country and many insist that their white male children have it so much harder than their non-caucasian kids. WHATTTTTTT!!!!??????

So let’s take a minute and examine the above statement and those types of thoughts that go with it. Let’s examine those persons in the military/captains of business and industry who have used their parents positions/connections and money to circumvent the system to get opportunities that others deserved. They use the political and economic systems for personal gain not based on merit but on these types of connections. And they use them in order to increase their wealth and to grab power or prestige . Even worse is their sense of entitlement to those positions. It is truly mind boggling. We don’t have to look very far to find examples of these types of people. Do the names Bush  and Trump ring a bell? Frankly, these are the people that are far more dangerous to me than any two-bit hooker. Plenty of rich people hang with the wrong crowd, become drinkers, fail to develop a work ethic, etc. Yet, they have the luxury of money, connections and family to sustain them and even promote them to places they do not deserve to be. A lot of people with higher grades/SATS etc do not get into Ivy League schools where these connections are further developed and strengthened because someone’s Daddy knows someone, they have donated to the school, or their parents have attended.It’s a system that serves to preserve itself at the expense of the less fortunate.

When I think about these issues I am reminded of that fact that during the Vietnam war many kids were able to avoid serving or served in positions that kept them in the states due to the positions/connections their parents held. People can become officers in the military because they can get into the academy that “normal” people cannot or someone who is truly deserving to be there is denied due to those connections. So to try to make the case that the poor stay poor because of their “laziness” while the rich get richer due to their “implied” hard work is not often true.

But even more troubling to me is this. So many of these conservative Christians tout the “Pick Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps” mentality. And finally we have a president who stands before them having done just that. And instead of giving him the kudos for doing what they insist all people should do and using his achievements as an inspiration for others; they turn around and renounce him. So what exactly is it that a black man is suppose to do? Stay at the bottom rung of society where you are chastised and beaten down? Or rise to the top and then you are labeled an elitist and a terrorist to boot. And if the truth be told many of these people don’t want people of color to succeed because it goes against their idea of ‘what things SHOULD look like if all is right with their world.

So the next time you hear the spiel about bootstraps and Obama acknowledge it for what it really is…racism cloaked in “proper talk ” attempting to hide the fact it is just plain hate mongering. And please, stand up and correct the intentional distortion of facts that are presented as “Truth” on Fox News to the perpetrators of your conversation. For the only way that all of mankind will be free is when hate is no longer  tolerated.

The Doctor Is In…316 Odd Days Or So To Fix This!

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According to my Grandmother, in order for a relationship survive there must be a lot of give and take. I admit, I do more than my fair share of giving…advice that is.

Sometimes my advice is golden:

“Learn to adapt”

“Invest in quality pieces, they never go out of style.”

“Just go ahead and do your own thing. It won’t matter after you’re dead. Just don’t hurt anyone else while you are doing it.”

“Don’t compare or else the grass will always look greener from where you stand.”

But more often than not I find my advice sounds somewhat like this:

“If you do X then X will happen,” (da-da…insert evil music)

“Don’t have sex with her unless you can see yourself waking up to her for the rest of your life”…which is valid but not always helpful at the time.

“If you would only take out the trash we wouldn’t have ants”

“You should have listened to me and this never would have happened.”

Recently, I had noticed that my commentary was full of If’s and Don’ts and Should’s. In other words, I often used these if’s and should’s unintentionally as word grenades; words which when said warn the unfortunate listener that something more is coming and it usually isn’t good. They are just “pull the pin and toss” words that can have near lethal effects on a person’s soul. Words which imply that the person is lacking in some way or has failed in some sort of duty owed. While I have used these grenades on others recently I have realized I have used them consistently on myself during negative self-commentaries that came to prance through my mind from time to time. Usually the word should figures predominantly in those head games I play with myself.

“You should have…”

Frankly, I think the word should be banned because it is a word that sets a person up for a lifetime of regret and self-flagellation.

“You should have…”

Lately, I have been working on decreasing the amount of should’s, if’s and don’ts in my vocabulary. Instead, I have tried to replace them with “feel good words” like… please, could you, and it may be better if…

And it is working.  As I use gentler words my family does too infusing a sense of calm in the atmosphere of my mind and in our home.  Best of all, I find I am turning into a kinder gentler woman … a Glenda the Good type of person who helps to remind me that “There’s No Place Like Home, There’s No Place Like Home, There’s No Place Like Home!” and I finally believes it.