Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Attitude is a lot...but it's not everything

I hear this a lot: "Attitude is everything!" It's very true that how we react to out life is often within our control. However, I do know people who believe we can magically make our reality better with the right attitude.
And that may be true for some people, but it's simplistic to say that automatically works for everyone.
There's a certain type of person that is most true for, and that group of people is well educated white males with no disabilities and a stable family of origin. These are the people with the best choices in our society. The more you deviate from that demographic, the more likely your choices will be less good will be.
Right now, someone reading this is saying, "You're just being defeatist and looking for excuses!" Before you commit that in writing, check yourself against the above demographic.
Recently, on a message board I'm on, a member posted about buying a bottle of vitamins, and noticing after he'd opened it and started using it that one of the fillers was a suboptimal ingredient. His question- do I toss it, or use it up? The consensus was use it up and choose better next time. My vote too, but I made the mistake of saying that I couldn't afford to spend $15 on vitamins and then not use them. The original poster responded that (basically) if I was poor I had put myself in that position due to a lack of positive thinking.
Insert rude suggestion here.
I'm working poor. I hate being poor. It causes me much anger, sadness and resentment. But with the choices in front of me- as a woman from an unstable, welfare poor background, with three kids, with little formal education,  with a husband who came from working poor and finds staying there easier than trying ( and who is too damnfool proud to let us get food stamps or any benefits we are eligible for)....for where I am, I have made the LEAST BAD choice I can. being poor SUCKS BIGTIME, but it beats putting my kids in school, trying to look for a job in this economy, getting paid squat because that's what a few credits at Cc get you, paying for aftercare for one of my kids out of pocket (remember my husband's pride?) and THEN, because I am a responsible parent, coming home to try and cook a meal from scratch while spending almost as much time as I would spend on a day homeschooling my kids to help them with their homework. While I would never try to say others should make the choice I have, I know I have made the least bad choice I can for my family at this time. Yes, I own that. Yes, if I'd made better choices 15 or 20 years ago, I might have better options to choose from now. But please, don't insult me by telling me I can turn it all around and be suddenly not-poor with the right attitude, or that if I don't I never get to complain.


At 2:03 PM, Blogger Wendy said...

love you, mama. and you're right on.

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Lone Star Ma said...

I agree with you.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Lindsay said...

Total agreement. The demographic you describe finds favor in each sphere of life. I have always loathed 'attitude nazis' like 'life coaches'. Sometimes you just have to fight, and it's no fun no matter how many affirmations you say.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger gojirama said...

Oh, Lindsay..don't get me started on life coaches ;)

At 11:12 PM, Blogger bazanna said...

i love this. you're a rockstar.


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