Thursday, 7 July 2011

Woah, defensive much?

Defensive Dice by M Hillier
Just read "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" from Get Rich Slowly. This is a personal finance blog that I follow mostly for the headlines since they are enormously long articles and have nicely descriptive titles. This entry was about how comments like how biking instead of driving can save money are met with complaints about being judged like the following:
I must say that articles like these bruise my ego a bit. I WANT to do everything possible to minimize my impact on my financial health and the health of the environment, so it bothers me somewhat to continually hear about biking, when it’s just not realistic to my life.
I read the article and many of the comments and it frustrates me how obvious the message is, i.e. chill people, it wasn't meant to be taken as a commandment, and how stuck in their defensiveness many of the readers are.  I'm not sure that the "I just can't do it" people really understand how suggestions work.  There's nothing constructive about saying that some people can't use a given suggestion.  Isn't that obvious?  Not everyone can do everything.  Not everyone will do everything.  Not everyone should do everything.  Perhaps it's not possible to bike to work.  Perhaps it is.  The point of the suggestion is that it's something important enough in the suggester's mind to be considered.

Even the comments about how there are still people, beyond the completely incapable, that are not so much incapable due to some unchangeable status but have made choices that have led them into a state in which they are incapable.  To those people, I would hope that they could realize the role they had in getting them to where they are.  Not that they are at fault or to blame but that they were captains of their ship and made their own bed, for better or for worse.  We are much less helpless than we think we are.  Sometimes, when we think we can't, we actually can.  The only barrier is the "can't" itself.

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