Addiction, Love, Mental Health, parenting, Politics

No one can do everything, and we need to stop telling people that they can.

We have to stop telling children, especially little girls, that they can do everything themselves. No one can. We used to understand this. We used to understand the importance of family and marriage and partners, but somewhere along the lines people, and especially girls started being told that they can do everything. That they don’t need anyone else. That, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”, as Irina Dunn coined.

In reality everyone needs people. The family unit was set up as a way of complementing each other’s strengths and working together. It’s easier to share responsibilities than trying to do them all by yourself. This seems like commonsense, but somewhere along the line ego got in the way and suddenly “I can do it myself” became the motto.

This is not to say that there are things that women or men can’t do. Of course most people are capable of anything that they put their minds too, but they can’t do everything. There are only so many hours in a day. There is only so much energy to be expended. Eventually you run out and the person told that they can do everything feels like a failure when they can’t.

Telling someone that they can do everything is similar to telling a child that they can have everything that they want in a store. Say you have $300 and you take a child to Target. You can tell them that they can have anything that they want, they just have to choose. Maybe they pick a giant Lego set, and have $100 left to spend and you tell them, “oh that’s great, why don’t you add a book and a game on top of that”. You leave the store and the child is ecstatic.

Now say you have the same child and the same $300 and you go into Target and tell them they can have everything that they want. Now the kid is loading up cart after cart of everything they could possibly desire in the slightest. You head to the register and start piling things out. Then you tell the cashier to stop when they reach $300. The child is confused. They don’t even know what they got. Maybe the thing they really wanted hasn’t even been taken out of the carriage yet. Now the child is devastated and let down. It’s “The worst birthday ever!” even though they got $300 worth of things they kind of wanted.

This is how we treat people, and especially women today. We tell them to go for everything they want. They go to school, they change majors a few times, they date around a bit, they start to work on a career, and everything seems good. They are getting everything they want. Now they’re 35, and single and thinking, “next on my list: husband and kids”. They look around and all the guys are kind of jerks, or giant children because they have also been told that they can have whatever they want and they just spent the last 20 years getting all the hook ups they could ask for without having to put anything into the relationship or grow up at all. Why should they? The women can handle everything.

Now the woman is like, “ok, clock ticking. I want kids, but I need a man for that. I also want to be able to raise my kids myself and not send them off with the nanny.” The world says, “ok, just find a guy and get started”. But those guys were left in the carriage when you ran out of money and some other girl who knew what she wanted came along and bought him already. The woman is left with what ever was the easiest to throw up on the register first and didn’t actually get a chance to choose.

I know, you’re going to say, “Not all women want to get married. Not all women want kids”. That is true, but most do, and all at least want the opportunity to decide for themselves and not just get left with whatever was in the first carriage.

Instead of telling kids that they can do everything we need to tell them that they can do anything that they choose, and then teach them how to make good choices. Otherwise we’re going to have more and more generations of self medicating, drug addicted, miserable people who think the idea of abortion and government sponsored suicide are great ideas, because, “this is the worst life ever” when you don’t understand how to get what you really want.

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