Day 237: Transforming Ego to Empathy – Part 3

Continuing from the last post:

“…Or how about a rich and influential politician coming from a family of rich and influential politicians, telling you the only reason you’re not a rich and influential politician is because you don’t have the right attitude, and you just haven’t made the ‘choice’ to become rich and influential?

Obviously within these examples, when we place ourselves in such a position with such people telling us these things — we clearly see and understand that there are more factors involved in what you do as a job, than just ‘your attitude’ and ‘your choice’. I mean, when we really look at ourselves — we can see there are things that we simply do not have the capacity to do or would have a really hard time trying to do — due to various factors like our education, our specific aptitudes or lack of aptitudes, our specific personality traits, ourfamily and upbringing, our culture, our specific fears, the amount of free time we have or don’t have, the people we know or don’t know, the city we live in, the amount of money we have saved, etc etc. 

And we all know and understand how difficult it is to give up certain habits and addictions, or to do something that continually triggers reactions within us – which is why for instance so many people end relationships and have conflict in their lives — we all know how we tend to accept / believe that whatever comes up within us is just ‘part of who I am’ and ‘I can’t change who I am’.  

And it’s the same with Money / Work as well. We all know that in the job situation we each currently find ourselves in — there is a certain level of acceptance — that what we’re doing as our job currently is just because ‘that’s who I am’ — which is why not everyone is a rich doctor or a rich business man or a rich actor — because we all actually know and understand that we didn’t really CHOOSE what we’re doing. Our ‘Choice’ was shaped / determined largely by our particular personality / opportunities / available support / fears / preferences / system connections / self beliefs, etc.”

So the point within this is that we can see how our own lives – our own apparent ‘choices’ involved in achieving our current level of income and position within the system — wasn’t really our ‘choice’ – because what we’re doing now has been mostly shaped by our particular background and opportunities that were already available — otherwise we could just make the ‘choice’ to become a billionaire, and just ‘take initiative’ and ‘do it’, right? We know that’s not how it actually works. We know that there are opportunities in the system that we simply do not have access to.

And yet many of us completely overlook this when we see minimum wage workers or homeless people or people relying on government assistance — and we place all responsibility solely on them and say ‘they can change their situation, they just don’t want to’. What we aren’t wanting to consider is that maybe these people had different factors involved in their personality development than we did. Maybe they had different opportunities available than we did, maybe they don’t have the same natural skills and aptitudes as we do. Maybe their personality, their idea of who they are, has been shaped in a way where they believe that being poor, being homeless, is all that is possible for them – and they are just ‘living who they are’ — as we experience that we ourselves are ‘living who I am‘. Maybe they don’t understand which channels to go through to find better work, maybe they’ve been out of work too long and nobody will hire them because they don’t trust them — maybe they developed a self destructive addiction — I mean do we really believe people desire to not be able to afford a a good life?

There is so much profit being produced in the system – so much that there are individuals like Warren Buffet who make over a million dollars an HOUR, there is no question that we could decide to provide everyone with a guaranteed income to support a good quality of life, regardless of your level of education, your background, your personality, your initiative or lack of initiative, etc, etc, etc.
I mean isn’t it obvious also that with a good quality of life as a foundation, without constantly having to face each day not being able to afford a dignified standard of life, that people would be more motivated to improve themselves and develop skills?
Isn’t that why we like to encourage and nurture and support our children financially? So they have a platform of support from which to set goals and be able to achieve them?

Within this, isn’t it clear that such statements like ‘poverty is a choice’, or ‘minimum wage workers just have a lack of initiative’, are simply programmed justifications brainwashed into us? Why else would we say such things when we actually in fact understand that what we do and what we become in the system is determined by more than ‘a choice’, and that changing your situation is not as easy as it sounds?

Why do we accept and allow a system that does not provide a platform of support to nurture everyone equally?

Why do we refuse to empathize with the poor? Is it because we are afraid that if we did, we would have to acknowledge that they cannot necessarily change their situations — just as we know and understand that it is in fact not easy to change our OWN situation — and therefore — it’s our responsibility to change the system, to change their situation?

To continue in the next post.
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