I remember well the first time I heard the expression ‘learned helplessness’. My mom used the term and I didn’t understand it. I asked her to explain, which went something like, “As if a man is actually incapable of doing the laundry.”
Some time later I heard it used again, only this time in reference to a woman who wouldn’t dream of changing a tire because she might break a freshly manicured nail.
These are benign examples of a much more serious issue. A little co-dependency amongst family and friends can be a very good thing. It reminds us we need each other, and it’s nice to be needed, as long as it’s not too needy. 🙂
But there is a much more nefarious kind of learned helplessness that is proliferating in our society and because it’s being sold by some very slick salesmen it goes on, continually championed by those who should know better. US.
This is the kind of dependency that fosters anxiety and dis-ease, because it promotes frustration, alienation, victimhood, powerlessness. Under the guise of convenience, comfort, safety, and even fun, we have allowed ourselves to become dependent on criminals, sociopaths, martyrs, tyrants dressed up as experts and beneficent leaders and stars.
Food, water, shelter, health, energy, entertainment, protection. These are all crucial aspects of human life we’ve willingly outsourced to others. Gone are the days for the vast majority who cooked from their own gardens, played and sang tunes around the fire pit, cared for their own ill, built their own homes. How many generations must we go back to know a time before politicians were household names and stock markets dealt only in livestock?
How many folks believe we have it so much better in our ultra-civilized modern world because they’ve bought the propaganda of their oppressors, those who actively promote and celebrate our dependency as progress?
There is a wellspring of peace of mind knowing that if you ever dare say “Take this job and shove it” you won’t end up homeless and hungry.
If you could do one thing in the new year to release the yoke of dependency just a bit, or a bit more, what would you do?