Cast Long Shadows

15 May 2012

Mind Hacks:

If I read the phrase “as addictive as cocaine” one more time I’m going to hit the bottle.

There is a tendency in our culture to refuse responsibility for our actions. We blame. We litigate. We do everything but acknowledge the possibility of our own ineptitude. It is so ingrained in our social structures that it seems entirely normal for us to seek justice in any slight or harm, perceived or otherwise.

“As addictive as X” is a symptom of this disease, of our inability to examine our actions as having consequences that we could have and should have foreseen. This is not to suggest that addiction does not exist, but simply a reminder that it is not the cause for every time that we lack the willpower to say, “no”. We are imperfect beings and we will, on occasion, make poor decisions. The key is that we should learn from them so that we do not continue to make those poor decisions in the future.

To claim that we are victims of addiction every time we are inept does not teach anything and it does not lead to a capable human beings; the moment of clarity1 is a moment of complete powerlessness and it is not a state that we should be eager to step into. We should, whenever possible, aim to cast long shadows and be powerful beyond measure.[^footnote]

(Via The Morning News)

  1. Vincent: So you decided to be a bum?
    Jules: I’ll just be Jules, Vincent; no more, no less.
    Vincent: Let me ask you something, when did you make this decision? When you were sitting there eating that muffin.
    Jules: Yeah, I was sitting here, eating my muffin and drinking my coffee, when I had what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity.
    - Pulp Fiction