24 Feb The Tangibility of Responsibility
We live in a weak culture. I have changed the way I see and approach things. As a parent, I realize my children need less coddling, more challenges, and more time on their own. As a therapist, I realize we have overly psychologized the individual (like children) which has created a dependency on others in order to get better, missing resilience. As a manager, I realize that the employee is entitled and weak (like children) because work-life culture is centered around the happiness of the worker (like children).
I can even notice my own sense of weakness because of how we operate as a culture and the times in which I was brought up. We are missing the kind of strength and focus of the Greatest Generation, as one example. They didn’t ask themselves how they were feeling, if they liked their job, how they were going to get through hard times, or how to parent their children. They just did things and pushed on. There is a downside to this way of living too, but we have lost some of the “work ethic” for lack of a better description. It’s too easy to be weak these days. Too easy to lean on others, receive sympathy, and be supported when we no longer want to go on. We can blame affluence for sure, but we must blame the centralizing of the individual and its entitlement to happiness, good feelings, and overall success. But all we have done is created weak legs. My son walks half a block and says “I’m tired.” Exactly.
I’m tired of it. It’s all exhausting. It’s exhausting being a person who hasn’t reached 40 yet and was brought up in a generation that operates this way. It’s exhausting trying to parent four children under this kind of cultural influence that requires happy and psychologically perfect children. It’s exhausting trying to manage people who whine and complain and evade accountability, protected by the broader culture that asks managers to be life coaches, teachers, mentors, anything but one who can actually get shit done.
It’s all maddening and exhausting and I’m done. From now on I will focus on facilitating strength and resiliency, accountability and effort, and an overall embrace of reality. It doesn’t have to be without compassion and understanding, but it also doesn’t have to be so damn impotent. I hope to help myself, my children, and my staff, stand on more solid ground, feel the tangibility of responsibility, and actually experience the kind of success one can be proud of.