Or, Maybe…


Or, Maybe… the decisions and choices you make are so heavily influenced by the upbringing you had, the relationships you had and have, the economy (etc) that the word “responsibility” is just poor word choice.

This is a very first world kind of meme. And frankly, even in THIS first world country, it doesn’t quite pass for me.

I was an adult before I saw the projects. I was so naive, I did not even know we HAD housing projects in the city I lived. They had those in movie cities like New York, Chicago and Oakland. Right?

And I drove in to that development and I felt myself wilt. I felt my Self actually curl up and wilt.

Have you ever felt the flu come on? You are well and then all of sudden you can feel the virus creeping up the back of your legs? I have. And when I drove into the projects I really thought, “I don’t know if I had been born here, I could have gotten out.” I was in my car, doors locked thinking “I am wilting. This is a terrible place.”

I’d like to think I’d go to school and find some teacher that made a difference or I’d just get that one in a million chance, but I also could have just curled up and let the wilting turn into rot.

I ran a truancy reduction program. And believe me, there were plenty of kids I just wanted to say GO TO SCHOOL!!! WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU!?!

But there were plenty that made me think, “Oh my. School is the least of your worries right now. Let me help you with this other stuff and we’ll talk school later.”

Look, I’m all for “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” and “get on with it” and “quit your whining and do it”.

There’s no CRYING in baseball! 

BUT…to suggest decisions and choices are not significantly impacted by a person’s upbringing and current circumstances is elitist or naive.

Or, maybe…it’s even worse than that.

It’s mean.