It’s easy (and “fun”) to judge others, to proclaim what they should have done in circumstance. And to assure yourself you would have been classier. How can you know, really, and so fricking what?
Two interesting posts I’ve come across, one well-old, the other brand new.
The latter is the latest piece on management-issues.com, called “Author, heal thyself.” By Peter Vajda, it in part reads –
So what is it about people who seem to need to run other peoples’ lives – either in the here and now or from a distance? What is it about people who seem to want to “help” others but can’t seem to get a handle on their own life or issues? What is it about people who aren’t happy unless they’re authoring someone else’s life?
In a word – control. Most of these folks are to some degree out of control in their own lives and so they gain a false sense of grounding and control by attempting to run others’ lives. Meddling is their fix….
Most authors of others’ lives have yet to chisel their own sculpture. Feeling unsafe, insecure, fearful, overwhelmed, lost or confused, their block of granite is incomplete. And to feel some sense of value and worth, they choose to chisel another’s sculpture.
Authoring someone else’s sculpture brings a fake and phony sense of individuality, self-actualization and self-determination. The opposite is the truth. Authors of others’ lives are seldom self-made individuals. They lack self-direction and autonomy, rarely assume self-responsibility for their actions and are poor at self-management.
These authors are often withering on the vine of life, rather than growing and moving forward. Rather than being continuous learners or continual creators of their own life, they take a false sense of pleasure in attempting to tell others how to live. They never take an honest self-inventory. They prefer to judge, evaluate and tell others how to deal with the struggles of life than to know themselves.
The other. from a not-quite-so-pro-business site, is from a 1999 article called “Give Up Activism.”
Self-sacrificing politicos stunt their own lives and their own will to live – this generates a bitterness and an antipathy to life which is then turned outwards to wither everything else. They are “great despisers of life… the partisans of absolute self-sacrifice… their lives twisted by their monsterous asceticism.” We can see this in our own movement, for example on site, in the antagonism between the desire to sit around and have a good time versus the guilt-tripping build/fortify/barricade work ethic and in the sometimes excessive passion with which ‘lunchouts’ are denounced. The self-sacrificing martyr is offended and outraged when she sees others that are not sacrificing themselves.
Well, yes, “up to a point” (as Prince Charles is saying on the cover of the latest Private Eye, in response to “Long Live the Queen”).
But speaking as a self-sacrificing martyr (got the t-shirt, bought the ideology) who is notorious for the always excessive passion with which I’ve denounced ‘lunch-outs’, I don’t mind people sitting around if they are honest that that is what they are doing. Everyone needs to do that now and then, and I’d probably be a better person if I just chillaxed a bit more, a bit more often. BUT, if there are no accountability structures, ifpeople can get the social kudos/status from promising to do work, and then not do it and these lunchouts can rely on the lack of any ‘formal’ holding of them to account for the damage their (in)action causes to the morale of their group, and its credibility, then I am going to be offended and outraged. And I am offended and outraged that more people aren’t joining me in offence and outrage.
What’s that sententious line? You know, the one about when you point a finger, three others point back at you?