Monday, September 2, 2013

Self-Reliance in Adulthood; Safety Nets in Childhood

A friend of mine was talking once about wanting to experience things on his own and reach his own conclusions - that he didn't want to "rely on what others say".  I understand that sentiment completely, but I look at a bit differently.

There are some things that I don't want to experience and am fine "taking someone else's word for it".
For example, I think I know myself well enough to avoid beer and cigarettes because of their addictive qualities and my tendency toward addictive behavior. (blogging? - *grin*)  My family is multi-generational Mormon, so I don't have a lineage I can look at and see if alcoholism runs in our genes - but I'm VERY wary, given what I do know about the disabilities that do manifest in my ancestry.

Granted, that's not precisely "taking someone else's word for it" at this point in my life, but it certainly was in my earlier, formative years - and I am very grateful for that, since it possibly kept me addiction-free until I could understand myself well enough to make that decision for myself in an informed, intelligent manner.

So, my summary:

Absolutely, I want to make my own choices and not rely strictly on someone else's word on most things - but I also believe all of us accept the need for a reasonable, safe foundation of "someone else's word for it" until we are mature enough to craft "our own word on it".

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