"I can't" actually means "I won't" - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 107 Old 07-15-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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OP ~ What you're saying sounds very similar to The Work. Would you please share what specific philosophy/methodology you are currently enthused by and drawing from so we can read more and better understand what is influencing you in this conversation?

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#92 of 107 Old 07-15-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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This philosophy seems to be regularly repackaged and presented as some kind of great insight that will make us all happy.

But it is a nasty idea if you take it to it's logical conclusion. It says we all deserve what we get. It kills charity, and it kills community.

 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
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#93 of 107 Old 07-16-2010, 12:09 PM
 
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This philosophy seems to be regularly repackaged and presented as some kind of great insight that will make us all happy.

But it is a nasty idea if you take it to it's logical conclusion. It says we all deserve what we get. It kills charity, and it kills community.
I actually disagree, there are many people (however hardly here at MDC) who say, "I can't" to charitable endeavors all the time. Or community endeavors. If pushed on it and asked is it, "I can't" or "I won't"? imagine how their world would open up. To actually be there for someone else.

in terms of "logical conclusion" I don't see how there is a conclusion. It is more a process than a destination,at least in my mind.

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#94 of 107 Old 07-16-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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I actually disagree, there are many people (however hardly here at MDC) who say, "I can't" to charitable endeavors all the time. Or community endeavors. If pushed on it and asked is it, "I can't" or "I won't"? imagine how their world would open up.
I'm afraid that all I'm imagining is how obnoxious it would be for someone to push me and question my reasons when I've just told them that I can't do something for a charity or my community.

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#95 of 107 Old 07-16-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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This philosophy seems to be regularly repackaged and presented as some kind of great insight that will make us all happy.

But it is a nasty idea if you take it to it's logical conclusion. It says we all deserve what we get. It kills charity, and it kills community.
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#96 of 107 Old 07-16-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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I'm afraid that all I'm imagining is how obnoxious it would be for someone to push me and question my reasons when I've just told them that I can't do something for a charity or my community.
Thinking that too. It's no ones business if a family is having financial or other problems that prevent them form being able to do charity work or making donations and no one should have to defend themselves for saying no.

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#97 of 107 Old 07-17-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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I'm afraid that all I'm imagining is how obnoxious it would be for someone to push me and question my reasons when I've just told them that I can't do something for a charity or my community.
Gotcha. But what if the person questioning is not another person but you yourself? Remember Can't versus Won't is more of a philosophical process and more about internal drives.

And btw, this is a response to the comment that "Can't versus Won't" would kill charity. I don't believe that debate does such. But perhaps I'm wrong.

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#98 of 107 Old 07-17-2010, 10:39 AM
 
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It sounds to me like a phrase/idea that's a good insight for those whose actual problem is feeling an exaggerated sense of their own powerlessness and helplessness. Or a lack of confidence in their ability to address and solve problems.

Where it falls apart, for me, is the claim that it's somehow useful universally. Some of my problems likely do fit this model - I choose not to keep a very clean house, for instance, and it's not that I can't, it's that I won't reorder my priorities to accomplish that goal. Some of my problems are in fact beyond my control - my husband has struggled with depression for years, and I can't fix that. I can't. I can encourage him to go to therapy, I can pay for his health insurance and medication, I can read about depression, etc. but I'm not in charge of his brain chemistry or his behavior. I can't fix his problem. Even though it affects my life in a variety of ways, and is a struggle for us as a family, I can't control or fix it.

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#99 of 107 Old 07-17-2010, 04:03 PM
 
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i've reread the OP a few times, and read through the entire thread and still am kind of confused about the "epiphany", although i am glad it has been helpful for the OP.

yes, i think that there are always ways of reframing how we see what is going on in our lives. but i also don't think that things are just as simple as "i can't" and "i won't". life happens. stuff happens. and i think it's meant to be that way for whatever reason, regardless of whether or not we think we "can" or "can't".

eta: i get what the OP is saying in her post when you consider each element individually. i'm confused on how you put it together and how it relates to each other. considering yourself as "limitless" and as being connected to one another and how it relates to putting yourself as a priority is not clear.

it sounds like katie byron's work to me, just not explained as well as katie does.

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#100 of 107 Old 07-17-2010, 07:39 PM
 
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Yes.

[QUOTE=mandib50;15633950]
life happens. stuff happens. and i think it's meant to be that way for whatever reason, regardless of whether or not we think we "can" or "can't".

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#101 of 107 Old 07-17-2010, 10:14 PM
 
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And btw, this is a response to the comment that "Can't versus Won't" would kill charity. I don't believe that debate does such. But perhaps I'm wrong.
What I think Bluegoat meant is that charity is usually about helping the less fortunate. So if you look at the lives of the less fortunate and think "Well, it's not that they can't make money/leave their abusive husbands/stop drinking/find a job, it's that they won't", it kills compassion. It makes for a blame-the-victim mentality in which what's "really" wrong with a person isn't her alcoholic family, health issues or systemic racism, it's her mindset. Rather an ugly point of view. Why bother helping her if all she really needs is to change her attitude and reframe her problems?

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#102 of 107 Old 07-18-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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What I think Bluegoat meant is that charity is usually about helping the less fortunate. So if you look at the lives of the less fortunate and think "Well, it's not that they can't make money/leave their abusive husbands/stop drinking/find a job, it's that they won't", it kills compassion. It makes for a blame-the-victim mentality in which what's "really" wrong with a person isn't her alcoholic family, health issues or systemic racism, it's her mindset. Rather an ugly point of view. Why bother helping her if all she really needs is to change her attitude and reframe her problems?

Yeah, I think that is equal to those who have religous point of view that is all about Heaven and the next 'lifetime' etc.. why care about life on earth? "It's all about that great place we (who believe) are going"... like those that really don't care about the enviroment or animals because of something they have intepreted in the bible or whatever is their scripture.
The distilling of something philosphoical or religous has historically been rife with problems.

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#103 of 107 Old 07-18-2010, 06:17 PM
 
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Yeah, I think that is equal to those who have religous point of view that is all about Heaven and the next 'lifetime' etc.. why care about life on earth?
Because we won't get to that happy eternity unless we follow Christ's command to...

1. Feed the hungry
2. Give drink to the thirsty
3. Clothe the naked
4. Visit the imprisoned
5. Shelter the homeless
6. Visit the sick
7. Bury the dead

I think James 2:15 is particularly relevent: If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?

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#104 of 107 Old 07-18-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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Christianity, at least, doesn't believe it's "all" about the next life at all; so that's an inaccurate "distilling". It's quite possible the OP's larger worldview, about which she's being somewhat coy, has other philosophies which balance the one in this thread; but the philosophy itself, taken alone, has at least one rather nasty logical conclusion.

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#105 of 107 Old 07-18-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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If you noticed my example was "animals" and "enviroment" putting the emphasis on that part of 'why care about life on earth." *
I think christian charities are well known.

my point was if you take a philosophy or religion and distill it out to I guess "logical conclusion"--it can get yucky. Any of them. I may have missed it, did the OP make this leap?

eta* christian versus enviroment is a old debate. google james watt.

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#106 of 107 Old 07-19-2010, 01:37 AM
 
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But being uncaring for the environment isn't the logical conclusion of Christianity; the Bible has some quite specific things to say about the stewardship of the Earth. Anyone who uses the one doctrine "the earth won't last forever" in isolation to justify raping the environment isn't taking Christianity to its logical conclusion, distilling it or any such thing. Ignoring other related doctrines isn't "distilling", it's distorting.

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#107 of 107 Old 07-19-2010, 09:29 AM
 
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Yeah, I think that is equal to those who have religous point of view that is all about Heaven and the next 'lifetime' etc.. why care about life on earth? "It's all about that great place we (who believe) are going"... like those that really don't care about the enviroment or animals because of something they have intepreted in the bible or whatever is their scripture.
The distilling of something philosphoical or religous has historically been rife with problems.
Well, there have been some religious views which thought this way, but certianly not all. It doesn't follow, for example, if you include the idea that our actions in this world influence the next, or if you say that the present world is in itself good, or even that the present world is in some sense part of the next one.

Perhaps if the OPs statement was in the context of a larger philosophy it would be easier to evaluate it.

I think everyone has agreed that our attitude can really affect our perception of reality, and how we respond to that. But to say that it determines our reality and that we can achieve happiness by simply having the right attitude is something most people won't agree with. Perhaps the only way I can see to make it work at all would be to take a totally detached approach, and even then it wouldn't mean we could always change our material circumstances.

 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
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