When you listen to people talking about this and that; a situation they are in, how awful it is etc., I get to thinking, well why don't you change it then. If you suggest that to them they come up with a lot of excuses as to why they remain as they are. They may get really angry with you saying 'are you mad? I can't do this or that because this or that is in the way'.
On thinking about it I realise that they are often happy in their situation and like to complain about it. Eric Berne in his book 'Games People Play' called this the 'Why don't you' ....'Yes But' game; the subjects pose a situation/problem and invite 'help'. With every solution to it the response is 'Yes But...I have all these children/the mortgage..' and the like.
There are many other situations that I have witnessed (no pun intended) with much the same process. Although many people complain about things they never take the steps necessary to change things. To my mind this is either that they don't want to or fear. Either way are they in their situation by choice?
Is it choice to remain in the JW's for instance?
If we choose to leave do we really leave; or do we haunt sites like this one, turning the old over and over again reliving the past and not moving on. In her book 'On the Other Hand - The Little Anthology Of Big Questions' the author, Renée Paule, makes the comment: "Human beings are diligent when it comes to searching for something they don’t really want to know or see; we know where not to look. One of the reasons for this behaviour is to delay our need for action and permit us to continue procrastinating; another is that we enjoy our illusions" (Emphasis mine).
Do we live by our choices but put the responsibility somewhere else? Are we frightened to take responsibility for everything that happens to us?
For those still in the JW's and wanting out I ask what really is stopping you just walking away? I can hear the usual excuses; I'm not being callous, but really deep down ask yourself if it is really the shunning, the wife/husband leaving you?
I am as guilty as the next person; I faded s-l-o-w-l-y. Fearful of discovery. Fear of what people would think and all the other mind-controlling stuff I had been taught. In the 'One The Other Hand' book it says "We prefer the familiarity of the comfort zone we’ve encased ourselves in, rather than dipping our toes in cold water elsewhere; it’s a fear of the unknown. We’re afraid of losing friends, annoying family, losing our jobs or our partners; it puts distance between us. Changing ourselves will inevitably lead to changes in our lives, of this there is no doubt. It changes the way the world sees us and it changes the way we see the world; we become strangers in it. This path has to be lived; it’s not something you do on a rainy day when there’s nothing else to pass the time with".
I now know that what I feared most was none of the usual excuses, the ones they keep you in line with. They are handy, let's be honest, for staying put. What I feared was change, to make the change on my own, to stand up and take responsibility for my life and for my actions. The people around then make their choices, so for instance if your wife/husband leaves you for not being a JW anymore, that is their choice but it is not your responsibilty - people may say it is, but it really isn't. It's theirs - that they try to pass onto you.
I think everything we do is our choice. Our responsibility.
What do you think?