On a Sunday morning ‘Today Show’, I watched a woman interviewed (and, incredibly, taken seriously), describing her trauma as a ‘psychic addict’ and her use of her own Tarot cards as a ‘nicotine patch.’ Apparently, she has spent a lot of money visiting and calling psychics, thus she is an ‘addict’.
If this addiction gets a name assigned to it by psychiatrists, she’ll qualify for disability money from Social Security.
If a person gambles and loses his paycheck, he’s a gambling addict.
A few attempts have been made, so far unsuccessfully, to get eating too much fast food classed as an addiction that the food companies can be held liable for causing.
To the psychic addict: nobody suggests that the person spending every Sunday morning and three nights a week at Joel O’Steen’s mega church or their local Catholic parish is a religion addict.
We are selective and judgemental, aren’t we?
In any case, we are far too willing to say that ‘choice’ is ‘addiction’. We let people act irresponsibly and hand them the excuse. Of course I recognize there are real addicts. But I am convinced, for every addict, there are a hundred excuse-makers happily accepting the addict label.
A zebra ain’t a horse, but an excuse is an excuse is an excuse. And I’ll bet I’ve heard 1,000, all positioned as something other than choice.
For example, I hear “I’m not a good reader” or “I’m a slow reader” a lot. As if that was some genetic handicap that ought to qualify somebody for disability payments or somebody provided by the government to read to them.
No, that’s being blind. Not a ‘slow reader.’ Pfui. Pathetic.
Here’s a thought: read faster. That’ll cure that disability. Take a course, hire a coach, go to a class. You are what you choose to be.
In the Eden Ryl film ‘Pack Your Own Chute’ I used to show in seminars, she interviews people about their biggest problem with their job. Most said: getting there on time.
Each had a different “disability” that prevented them from getting to work on time. When I was young, I would turn off my alarm clock and keep sleeping. I cured my genetic disability by buying five alarm clocks, putting each under large coffee cans, each ten feet further away from the bed, the last one in the bathroom.
You have to be your own Excuse Watchdog. Catch yourself too easily letting yourself off the hook, accepting your own b.s., accepting an “I’m not…” or “I can’t…” explanation when truth is “I choose not to….”