I was called upon this morning when hearing a report on the controversy over the soda Mountain Dew (discussed on Good Morning America), to revisit the question of personal responsibility. You might remember that that controversy arose out of the dismal condition of Appalachan childrens’ teeth, arguably dismal as a result of over-consumption of the ‘dread’ Dew.
But I wonder, whose fault is that? Certainly, children cannot be held responsible for their food and drink choices or for knowing proper hygiene or nutrition practices. But can adults and parents? It’s a complex question to be sure, involving at the very least influences of nature and nuture, marketing and choice, greed and habit. It made me reflect on how this nation and individuals have become so unhealthily obese.
Shall we sue MacDonald’s for mac-sizing us? Does Taco Bell torture us into submission and super-sized sodas? And come to think of it, how is it that tobacco companies are held liable in some jurisdictions for ‘forcing’ us to shell out $5 per pack and upwards, making us suck, inhale, cough, sputter, cloud up our environment, poison others, and personally taste (try kissing an ashtray) and smell atrocious?
Perhaps over the years I’ve grown more unforgiving about traumas and outrageous trends as they periodically come to public attention, especially when we seem to always be looking for someone to blame. What does my mom say? When you point one finger forward, three others are pointing back at you.
The news today just seemed more of the same finger-pointing that in major part caused me to become fed up with my former profession, law. It was never a case of accident, or lack of ability to do some job, but was always “your fault” or “racism” or “sexism.” But that’s the subject of another blog.
What excites me about working with students who come to me for corset waist-trainng coaching is that they have taken a step in exercising personal responsibility. They’ve decided to do something about a poor body image, how they feel in their clothes, or their weight or shape. They invest time, energy, and money to pursue a time-limited, fashionable, fun, and unique way to become more healthy and stay that way: exactly what should be one of out top ultimate quests throughout our lives.
I’m inspired by my student’s commitment when they follow through to the very end and even beyond, maintaining healthy new habits for many years thereafter. They survive the stress of job loss, litigation, divorce and other grave challenges, facing ultimate boredom and discomfort to the max on some days — yet they keep that corset on and keep drinking their water and eating their healthy soup — steadfastly pursuing their goals, blaming neither themselves, me, or MacDonalds if they don’t quite succeed. But they still win!
These are the clients whom I respect and want to count among my friends because they’re not victims and they don’t think of themselves as such. They are the masters and mistresses of their fate, yet able to roll with the punches which they cannot possibly or completely control. They are to be admired.