It may shock some of you to know that I don’t perceive myself as a self made man. I know, I know, you could all swear to the fact that I’m responsible for the things I eat, the car accidents I’ve had (all two – a long time ago), the growing Molson muscle I have worked to achieve around my waist…. actually…..I am responsible for those things. In that regard, I am totally a self made man. What I am not responsible for is any success I have in my life. For those things I may have a part of the responsibility, but truly sometimes my parts are small. Very small. Take my large family as an example. On second thought, let’s not use that as the first example. Insinuating that I had a small part of involvement in that makes me feel like my manhood is diminishing. So let’s move on to a better example.
In life, I honestly do feel successful at a few things. But in every case I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the more I have been assisted by others towards that success, the more successful I’ve become. There are few successes in my life that I can claim being the sole one responsible for. If you are honest, the closer you look at your own life the more you see how others have sustained you along the way. I have to be honest and say that I am very little on my own. Even the things that I do independently are buoyed up by the inherent love and support I have from those around me that love me.
If you watch the news, which I do on a regular basis in spite of the fact that my wife and kids with their eye rolls are TOTALLY not into it, maybe you notice the same trend that I do as you hear politicians, protesters, and regular people blaming anything and everything but themselves. Personal responsibility seems to be a concept from the past. But it’s not because they are attributing success to others. No, it’s more because they don’t want to take any responsibility, or accept any designation of being the architect of their own poor choices. There are often public acknowledgements of what people contributed in the circumstance, but I often wonder if that truly means the recognition of success is different for the acknowledger. I don’t know. I think we have lost ourselves. We all have a tendency towards clinical narcissism to the point that even acknowledging others is a way of building ourselves up. In fact for most, it’s easier to read this as though it’s about someone else than to consider yourself in the implications of it.
Let me do my very best to regain some sanity and temper my narcissism with some open admissions. I really do recognize that I am only who I am and what I have accomplished because of others. There are some key players in that situation. Of course. As of late, I can attribute quite a bit of my recovery to a team of health professionals who have taken it upon themselves to learn every bit of information that they can glean in order to help people recover from injury. There are the selfless friends who offered to get me to appointments and other places when I was unable to do so myself. The networks of people who know we are in a pickle because of my inability to work, so they got together and provided financial help, some pre-made meals, gift cards, gift bags anonymously hung on our door early in the morning. The letter of encouragement along with a gift from an address with no name that thanks to the modern tattle tale tool called the internet can be tracked down and known. The offers of help from those who up until now were not much more than acquaintences. The evidence is all there…to be self made in any circumstance is pretty difficult, but in recovery the help piles up from all angles. For all of this I am exceptionally grateful.
There are still a few things that are self made. For one, my choices. I am the only one who can choose for me. And what I choose is totally up to me. I want to make my choice to live and flourish and be grateful and see the beauty in as much as possible (some things are inherently ugly and/or evil and I don’t see beauty in those things). I choose my reaction to what happens to me and around me. And I choose my actions as I face every day. I choose in all the things that are related to my mind. This area is really all I am truly self made on. Taking every thought captive as my own is important. Doing this to the best of my ability is where I really have the control to say that I am a self made man. I truly want to do my best with these things that are only mine.God help me! God help us all!