Teaching social responsibility

As a writer, I have to confess a rather obsessive passion for reading. I am an advertiser’s dream when it comes to a blog post or news article that has been shared to my social channels, I can’t help but read it. So as a result, I read a lot. And just occasionally, I read something that really gets on my nerves. 

It seems that this fabulous, supportive society that we live in just isn’t good enough for some people. You see, whatever cards life deals you, we in the UK are lucky enough to have the resources and support to see us through it. 

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that everyone goes through tough times, some more than others. But it’s the way we deal with it that counts. 

So, you’re finding something a bit difficult, let’s take knitting as an example. You really want to knit but you just can’t quite get it right, so you find a lovely local support group.

There are some accomplished knitters there, but a few short months ago they were in your position and someone helped them Lemonsthrough a tough time. So they keep attending the knitting group to support the new knitters. 

During general conversation, a couple of the expert knitters mention that they don’t like the needles that you use or the pattern you are following. This cuts you to the core at a time when you really needed kind words. 

So what do you do? Put their harsh words down to the personal knitting battles that they are still facing and get on with your own knitting, find another support group or keep going with this one and vow that you’ll be more supportive when you are in their position?

Or, do you give up knitting, convinced that you’re not a strong enough person to cope with their sharp tongues and then complain about the support group?

Let’s just stop and think about that for a moment. What makes a strong person? Are we born strong, is it nurture during childhood or is it personal choice?

My opinion is that it is personal choice. It seems that these days, we are taught from early on that there is always somebody else to blame, perhaps because our parents are unwilling to take responsibility for their own actions.

An example struck me this morning. I overheard a conversation between Libby and hubby around the fact that Libby had done something to his phone and it wasn’t working. Libby used the phrase, “What have I done?”

At two years old, Libby hasn’t yet got to the age where she has to shift the blame onto somebody else. Had she been a little older, would the conversation have been different? Would she have said something more along the lines of, “That wasn’t my fault, the phone is crap.”

And had she done so, would that have been my fault as her mother? Of course it would. I rarely apologise to Libby when I’m wrong, preferring to make out that I’m somehow absolved of responsibility. What a ridiculous attitude to take on in front of a child. 

As adults though, we make our own choices. About work, life, love, accessing support, who we associate with and who we are as a person. We are free to go against our parents’ examples and teach our own children the right way. 

And let’s go back to that support group. Now that you have told all your friends about the mean bullies who put you off knitting for life, new knitters don’t go there anymore. So the group dissolves and the next time someone struggles with their knitting, there is nobody to help them. 

And what have you taught your children about social responsibility? You’ve taught them that not only does society owe them something, if what society comes up with isn’t good enough, they should just give up. 

What you haven’t taught them is that they owe a debt to society. They will receive support in all sorts of situations throughout their lives, just like you have. But where does that assistance come from? Somebody has given up their time voluntarily to help them.

And as for you, the knitter. You feel that you are owed something by society, you never volunteer for charity, never help when you see someone struggling. You live a miserable existence, not because life gave you lemons, but because nobody provided you with the recipe to make lemonade. 

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10 Comments

  1. January 12, 2015 / 8:22 am

    This is making me feel a little guilty about a post I wrote recently about saying no to people who are taking advantage of you.
    The particular people I was talking about in my post are people who, despite many attempts over a period of years to help them and show them how to get support and get ‘better’, still spend all of their time looking for the easy way out. That’s why I gave up….
    Which I now feel a bit guilty for, but, I’m still saying no.

    Wow. This was a fun upbeat comment wasn’t it? Sorry!
    Jamie recently posted…Lock up your Routers!My Profile

    • monsterid January 12, 2015 / 8:46 am

      I totally agree with you, it’s the people you are saying no to that cause the problems! It’s the sense that the world owes them something, drives me mad! Thanks for your comment.x

  2. January 12, 2015 / 9:55 am

    Great read x another thought provoking post. Think we all sometimes absolve ourselves of responsibility in this day & age to a degree and totally agree that a lot of people seem to think they are owed by the world. Rarely are we ever owed anything.

    enjoyed the read as always x
    Blogging Mamma recently posted…My Big Fat Weight Loss Jouney – Part 1My Profile

    • monsterid January 12, 2015 / 10:00 am

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, I agree we just have too much of that sort of attitude in society as a whole and I’m as guilty as anyone sometimes but I’m trying to stop and think about it.xx

  3. January 12, 2015 / 10:39 am

    Good post!! I couldn’t agree more. The problem with society is that we have git to the point where we think it’s acceptable to criticise everything and everyone, especially when they don’t match our “preferred knitting style”
    I, as you know, haven’t been too good since New Year and most of it has been due to negative people….its difficult not to let them get to you. That being said it hasn’t once stopped me from doing what I enjoy and trying to move on. I struggle to not let it them affect me at a personal level and if anything rather than sitting in a state and feeling that a I am owed something I try to do more…possibly to achieve my worth more. I think in doing so it is easier not to allow the “knitting group” to dissolve.
    martyn recently posted…What Makes Me HappyMy Profile

    • monsterid January 12, 2015 / 10:53 am

      I agree Martyn, it’s the ingrained negativity in some people that drags is down. You are an inspiration in the way you deal with things.x

  4. January 12, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    Brilliant knitting analogy! I just hope it wasn’t at all inspired by real-life knitting bullies? 😉 Great writing though, why wasn’t I following your blog already?! X
    Lisa from Lisa’s Life recently posted…Still Going With GOPOMy Profile

    • monsterid January 12, 2015 / 6:59 pm

      Thank you Lisa, that’s so kind of you. And don’t worry, no knitters were harmed in the making of this blog post 😉

  5. Sarah MumofThree World
    January 22, 2015 / 2:15 pm

    Great post. Knitting is the perfect example for so many situations. People are too quick to blame, too quick to walk away from situations and too unwilling to support others.

    • monsterid January 22, 2015 / 2:31 pm

      Thank you Sarah. I hope no knitters were offended by my comparison 😉

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