11/15/12

Choice in Obligation . . .


Wait, wait, wait . . . Before you start reading (and presuming you have/use Spotify) - hit the "play" button above. Got it? Good. Read on.

There are few things in this world that annoy me more than people who ONLY do things out of a sense of "obligation" and will TELL YOU as much. If your heart, joy, best intent, and special sauce is/are not behind it - save it for the cheap seats and find something you can do with gusto. That's what I always say.

I have no data to verify this next claim but I believe that women are far more likely to act solely out of obligation than men and the women of our heartland (that's you, Wichitennes) are at the highest probabilty of this mentality in these United States. (To clarify, you are far LESS likely act obligatorily than your sisters in the Middle East, etc. and for that, I salute you).

WHY do I believe the above hookie? Simple. You were raised that way because your mothers were raised that way, who learned it from their mothers, who got taught by their mothers who came up acting under obligation. Take this two, maybe three more generations and you're somewhere in Europe so this argument will degrade itself BUT I know, that you know, that I know, that YOU know what I'm sayin'.

I'm not faulting you women (or your mothers). Not in the least. Being selfless and giving and presuming that certain things are mandates (me shaving the tops of my feet, for instance) is a gift. I believe, in certain doses, contexts, and scenarios it is a beautiful and majestic way to go through life. I WISH I could feel a sense of obligation beyond my daughter, my work, a handful of family and friends, and paying taxes. I would be a better person for it. Anchored, perhaps.

Now don't get huffy . . . I'm not asking you to change or cautioning you against raising your daughters to feel and respect obligation but I might ask you to do me a favor . . . teach them the CHOICE in obligation.

Let them understand that doing/saying/thinking/eating/cooking/cleaning/shifting/packing/folding/ buying/wearing/acting/reporting/arguing/wanting/needing/loathing/unloading/missing/loving/etc. ANYTHING is fine (as long as no laws, morals, wills, or values are broken in the process) but encourage them to understand any of the above endeavors (or otherwise) are still CHOICES. They do not have to __________ them. They could engage in an alternative, have someone do them, or just ignore them. It would be BETTER if any of the above are entered in to and finalized by choice.

They will feel better. The impacted will feel better. YOU will feel better. And your Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandmothers - who risked scurvy and THE plague for the life you now enjoy in the "new world" would want - no REQUIRE - it that way.