I don’t think people wake up one morning and decide not to have any motivation, any goals. I don’t think anyone one day thinks to themselves, ‘Self, you know what? I’m just not going to try anymore. I’m just going to give up.’
Honestly, giving up is a last ditch option. Yes, you know that person who just never really did anything. But, really? Did they really not ever do anything? Or did there life never present them with that option? With the choice to do something, anything?
I think if we really look at people, more often than not, people merely get stuck in their lack of options rather than actively choosing not to do anything. A child who grows up in a family with parents whose primary concern is obtaining and using drugs never had the experience of anything different. That’s not an easy thing to just cast off once they’re 18 and on their own. The child who grows up in foster care, being bounced from one house to the next, where they are primarily a “paycheck” and a burden, doesn’t suddenly have the experience of feeling secure once they turn 18.
And yet that’s what ‘society’ (and I use that term oh so loosely) expects. That all these people in our world who are homeless or jobless or lacking of a variety of experiences… well, they just don’t want it enough. Or they aren’t trying. But that’s like expecting someone who has never flown a plane or driven a car to just get in one and know how to drive it. And when they don’t telling them, ‘You just don’t want it enough,” or “You aren’t trying.”
People cannot possibly know how to do something they have never done before. Have never even seen before. And yet, that’s what we expect people to be able to do. “Just do it.” It has nothing to do with not wanting it enough. Or not trying hard enough. It comes down to lack of experience and knowledge. And underlying all that is the issue of self-esteem and self-belief. If your entire life – hell, even part of your life – someone, many people have told you that you are lazy and stupid, etc., eventually you’re going to believe it. And that’s not even what you are saying to yourself!
We, as society, need to be so much kinder to our fellow human beings. I truly believe that everyone is doing the best they can in the moment with the knowledge and resources they have. It doesn’t mean they couldn’t do better. It means that, at this very moment, with the information they have on how to do things and what things are available to them, they are making the best choices they can.
However, ending it there gives people an out to just continue to do the same things. And doing the same things (regardless of what they are) over and over is insanity (Theodore Geisel). Resources need to be expanded. Education needs to be expanded. And the knowledge of both of these needs to be expanded. Most people have no idea of the resources in the own community – education institutions and programs, classes, programs for a wide-variety of people. Housing, shelter, heating, etc. resources. And so much more.
The more people know about what is available to them, they more apt they are to make better choices for themselves.