Twisty Thursday: Philosophical Musings, Vol. 2

Are my expectations of other people just too damned high?

I’m starting to think that I simply need to let go and embrace that the only high standard I ought to have is for myself.  And I’d do that, if everyone else would stay out of my stinkin’ business.  But they won’t.

I hold a lot of stock in the idea that we are personally responsible for what we do.  We must

Yep, there's salt on it

be, if we are to consider ourselves to be free citizens.  With that comes other, internal responsibilities:  We are also responsible for how we feel.  We have (barring some physiological malady) a choice in how we feel and what we do.

Well, sort of.  Because some folks would like to take that away from you.

It seems that many do not want to accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions and choices.  They believe that others hold power over them; that they have no choice but to be a victim of circumstance.  I cannot fathom what a disappointing life that would be.

It follows, then, that I find myself in a bit of a philosophical conundrum.  Am I simply expecting too much of other people…that they be responsible for their own futures and let me be responsible for mine?  Aren’t we all captaining our own ships?  Should that ship run aground, is it not the captain’s responsibility to deal with the result?  Shouldn’t responsibility-for-self be the way for everyone?

Is it unethical for one to ignore the stupidity of another and let them deal with it on their own?  Or is the opposite true?  Is it unethical to involve and push one person’s or group’s opinions regarding right behavior onto another just because that person is being stupid?  What are the ethics of dealing with consequences?

Holy cow, that’s some heavy crap.

Punish the real problem...the parents.

Did you know that some states are working (very hard, mind you) to legislate the amount of soda, sugar, fat, and salt we are allowed to eat?  And even what kind of milk our kids can have with their school lunch?

I find this to be utterly insane, and quite offensive.  I don’t need someone to tell me what or how to eat, or how to feed my children.  As a matter of fact, I choose to eat healthily, but if I chose not to do so, that would also be my choice.

I have a choice to go to a healthy restaurant or not; to allow my children to eat at school or pack them a lunch.  My children are little beanpoles who definitely could use a little extra

One of my little beanpoles

whole milk with their lunch, but because of the “obesity epidemic,” my boys are given skim milk with their lunch.  Our pediatrician says that they are underweight, despite me feeding them as much as I can to help them put on healthy weight.  Do these legislators not realize that the brain needs fat to grow?  And that it is growing all through childhood?

Holy shit…do I have a discrimination suit?

Just kidding.  Well, maybe.

So why do we allow this nonsense?  Why are people voting to feed my kids less of what I want them to eat because some other parents have chosen not to get their kids off the couch and outside?  I mean, crap…in some places if I leave my 8 and 9 year old in the car while I go grab a carton of milk, I’ll be arrested.  But these parents who place their child’s health in real danger are no big deal at all.  That’s everyone else’s fault and must be legislated!

Why do we see it as our duty to force our will upon others so that they are required to be responsible in the way that we see fit?  I might be disappointed in humanity, but I REFUSE to go that far.  I can understand laws which direct order, prevent violence, punish murder…but salt?

I like to keep Twisty Thursday’s posts short and leave plenty for my readers to comment on.  Tell me, how does it make you feel to know that you aren’t allowed to be responsible for the consequences of your own choices?  That your choices are being taken away from you?

What are the ethics of allowing others to deal with the consequences of their behavior?



About DrPretzel

Student of philosophy and medicine, mother of 2 Creatures of Mass Destruction (a.k.a. "boys"), Soldier, sister, daughter, friend, cat person, social inept, INTJ, blah, blah, blah...are you even reading this?
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5 Responses to Twisty Thursday: Philosophical Musings, Vol. 2

  1. Majeh85 says:

    Whether we want to admit it or not we are responsible for all of our choices, even allowing someone else to make them for us. We talked a little about self-entitlement at Prof. JM’s party and that’s where I believe this desire to have someone else make choices for us comes from.
    We, as a society in general, want to be skinny, but we don’t want to have to choose to work out we just want to choose to eat. But we don’t want to have to choose to eat healthy, we want someone else to make that oh so difficult decision for us, here is where big brother comes in. Since we don’t want to make the choice to be healthy and we, as a society in general, see our government as the be all end all for any decision that needs to be made, whether it is a decision of a public matter or a personal one.
    Even though these same people are that are asking the government to stay out of their business are also inviting it in the meddle, “let me fuck whomever I want but it’s on you to make sure that I don’t get myself hurt in the process and if i do you have to fix it.” This is a pretty common theme that I see personally, people think that it is the government’s job to keep them safe in any and every way possible, when it is not.
    Sooner or later the society at large will figure out that they have been responsible for everything that has been happening, or lack there of. It may take years, decades, or even generations but eventually our society will realize that we are slowly dooming ourselves to our worst fear, one tiny step at a time, a big brother society.
    As far as your dilemma about your expectations of others I think it depends. Are you holding them to everyone, as in absolutely everyone you interact with, or just those you choose to keep close to yourself? If it’s absolutely everyone then I do believe, yes, you are holding everyone to too high a standard, even if you are holding yourself to the same standard. If it’s just those you decide to keep close then no, you are not because you have the right to hold a standard for those you surround yourself with and should never feel obligated to lower it.
    I have had a standard that I hold others to as well, and, if anything, by the people I have surrounded myself with the standard has probably been raised. I have been told to lower my standards so that I can get a girlfriend, by a lot of people, but I refuse, so I spend most of my time single and generally lonely. But I believe that it will be worth it when I do find someone, so my standard remains. And even on that note there have been women I have met and never dated, some I didn’t even particularly have an interest in dating, that have caused me to raise my standard higher. And I’ll put this out now before I get flamed, they’re not physical standards, they’re intellectual and personality standards. Not sure how to explain it in a way that would make sense, but a woman’s physical appearance and stature I think I tend to be fairly lenient on, especially since some of the guys I hang with look at some women and say something along the lines of, “Oh my god(not in a good way)” and I look at the same woman and, as far as appearances go, I don’t see anything wrong but leave them to their opinion.

    So, all in all, I think it depends on who exactly you’re holding to your standards, but as for your standards themselves there is nothing wrong with them.

    • drpretzel says:

      I agree with everything you have here…which is odd, A, because I usually find something to argue with.

      Regarding my standards, I’m quickly learning that, while I used to hold humanity as a whole to a higher standard, nothing surprises me anymore. So from here on out, I’ll just stick with those close to me.

      Strangely, every since school began, I find that my very tightly knit circle is expanding just slightly. I’m still picky as hell, so if someone suddenly finds themselves cut out, they should know it’s because they simply don’t meet my standards. Sorry (not really, but that’s what you’re supposed to say, right?).

      I don’t expect perfection, but those who refuse to recognize the role they play in a situation, are consistently hypocritical (rarely is okay, that’s only human), or repeatedly fuck up the same fuck ups and refuse to LEARN, who always play the victim and never want to take responsibility, or seem to disappear when times are tough for me, but always show up when they need help…well, buh-bye. That’s not a friendship. But that entire description might be a run-on sentence. 😮

      We just need to accept that we are not victims of circumstance or others. We are where we are by choice. I don’t think that’s too damned much to ask, now is it?

  2. drpretzel says:

    I think you and I both know we’re in disagreement on the size of government, so I’ll just leave that one where it is.

    I agree that school lunches ought to be healthy. Absolutely. But I also think that there should be choices for those children who are NOT overweight or need extra nutrients. Full fat milk, for starters. Potatoes (not fried). Beef and pork. Real, high value veggies (not the fake, processed kind or the canned stuff where half the vitamins are lost).

    This “war on childhood obesity” has been focused completely in the wrong direction. What’s the big difference between today’s kids and those of my generation? We were outside ALL the time. From first light to dusk in Summer, and as soon as we got home from school in Winter. That’s where the cool kids were.

    Today the cool kids are messing with their iPods and X-Boxes. But don’t think I’m blaming video games or the technology industries…because, again, it all comes back to choices. Who has the decision making authority when it comes to children? Derh…the parents.

    If there really is a war on childhood obesity, the campaign should focus all of its efforts into making parents feel guilty for increasing their child’s risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, metabolic disorders, asthma, sleep disorders, early puberty, depression, behavior problems, and being bullied (all from the Mayo Clinic website…most I knew about, a few I didn’t think of). Childhood obesity starts Mom and Dad.

    I agree that nutrition is as much a lesson as math. However, if the child is not funding the pantry at home, only so much can come of it.

  3. Charisse says:

    I’m with you about personal choices. But, the first thing that comes to mind when reading your article is the fact that choices can be limited. I am on welfare. I’ll just throw that out there to start with. We are on WIC, food stamps, and of course, my kids are on the free lunch/breakfast program at school. The school has even started sending a back pack of food home with them for the weekends.
    And because of this, I really want the food my school serves my kids to be healthy. I think it’s as much a lesson to learn during meal time as during math time. I don’t like that Ketchup is considered a serving of vegetables, it’s loaded with high fructose corn syrup. It’s okay for a flavor, but it’s not an apple. And the two should not be equated.
    On the other hand. The IDEAL is that these standards are laid out by the school board. That is where these decisions should be coming from.
    🙂 Government works best when it is like the food pyramid. Big and spread out at the bottom, sharp and pointy at the top. 😉

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