Every time somebody makes the declaration, it is what it is, my heart breaks a little bit more.
Uttering this phrase is a surrendering of power. It’s a laziness in disguise. People think they’re offering a meaningful insight on the human experience, but it’s really just rationalized victimhood. It’s a story people tell themselves about their own helplessness. A perfect narrative of excuses and failure.
Lifton, the psychiatrist who famously researched the brainwashing and mind control patterns of war veterans, called this statement a thought terminating cliché. He defined it is a piece of folk wisdom used to quell cognitive dissonance, whereby the most far reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These phrases, he said, are the start and finish of any ideological analysis.
And so, the question becomes, do you use your experiences, or do they use you? Are you willing to forgive reality for being what it is, and then do whatever you can to change it?
If so, then you won’t need to soothe yourself by saying, it is what it is. Because it isn’t. Not anymore, it’s not.
Winget’s book on personal responsibility puts it perfectly. He says people who say it is what it is want an excuse for the way things are. But what they’re really saying is, it is the way I allow it to be. It is the way it is because that’s what I’m willing to accept. It is the way it is because I’m too damn stupid and lazy to make it different than it is. Wrong. It isn’t the way it is, it is the way you make it. The future is yours to see and create.
He’s right. Enough abandoning hope. Stop obliterating the thought of reforming the existence that makes you miserable. Reach across the borders and boundaries of reality. Switch from an external to an internal locus of control. Commit to the belief that you have an active role in deciding your own fate, and a brighter future is yours to write.
LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you use experiences, or do they use you?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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