aspirations · choices · goals · growing up · keep trying · who are we

When to act

If it doesn’t just happen, is all modern life really just wilful contrivance? How much you have to act to make things happen for yourself but when do such actions become a form of self-betrayal?

I feel like I am naturally very passive; always prepared to bend around the events and circumstances that occur around me. Usually these are due to the actions of others or the things that were done unto them. I don’t always like being such a pushover but I find it hard to resist – I often only realise that I did it on reflection after an event, it is so integral to how I act. I suspect that my childhood unintentionally bashed the action out of me; we had to make the best of what had been put upon us and we were helpless in the face of its merciless progress. I ‘learned’ that being patient and passive is best.

This was reinforced by every fictional story that I loved. Be it on the TV or in my favourite novels, things happened to the hero or heroine. They lived decent small lives and then things happened that led them, after a period of difficulty, to their destiny. They were tested, found to be worthy and left alone to their new, better lives.

But today it seems that only the negative things area unavoidable and will always seek you out. Other, possibly more positive, events seem to require more proactive actions by you. No longer are you able to rely on doing the right thing and being decent, you have to have goals and aspirations and make things happen. You have to be resilient in the face of setbacks. You have to believe in yourself and your destiny to an almost egotistical and foolhardy degree.

So what happens if you aren’t brave or decisive enough to force your fate? What if taking such steps feels like falseness and a betrayal of who you are? How do you stop waiting and start acting without hating yourself?

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