Helping People is Good; Socialism, Not So Much

The socialist philosophy that all should have their basic needs met resonates with our own humanity. No one really wants people to suffer. We all want food, shelter and basic care for those we love and all of humanity. Unfortunately, that is simply not a reality. People have free will; freedom to choose how they want to live their lives. The consequences of daily choices can lead to missed opportunities, failed efforts, loss of benefits and financial stability, and a possible lapse into poverty. People are supposed to feel the repercussions of their choices and learn from them.

As we grow into adulthood, the responsibility for our food, clothes, shelter, and personal wants shifts from our parents to us. If you want to live in a certain city, drive a particular type of car, wear designer clothes, and earn a certain amount of pay, you will have to figure out how to go about doing that. If you are a minimalist person with few needs and are willing to keep your expenses low by living with roommates, biking and commuting to get around, and shopping at thrift shops, you will have to figure that out also. The common denominator here is YOU … not your parents, not the government, not social programs, not welfare.

There is a symbiotic relationship between doing and having. With few exceptions, those that do, have; and those that do not, do not have. Of course, there is a lot of room for interpretation of how much needs to be done in relation to how much people have; however, the basic tenet still holds true. Even if you are given money, jobs, opportunity, and material things, at some point someone had to do something to accumulate those things; whether it be you or someone who likes you.

There are things that need to be learned, sacrifices that need to be made, and tasks that need to be accomplished in order to reap benefits – financial, social, or otherwise. As long as you are able, you are responsible for creating and maintaining your chosen lifestyle. If you want more than you currently have, then learn from others, work harder or smarter, sacrifice to put your goals first, find or create opportunities, and utilize support systems to help you succeed. No one said it would be easy, but if you really want something, be willing to work for it.

So far, socialism hasn’t entered the equation. And that is by design. Free markets, free choice and opportunities feed success. The sky – or your own willingness, drive, and innate talent – is the limit.

So, where does some form of socialism fit in? Well, I wouldn’t call what I’m advocating socialism. It’s more like helping your fellow man by initially providing for his needs, then very shortly after, teaching him to fish; instead of simply dropping off bags of fish at his doorstep for the next 12 months. If he is able, but unwilling, to learn to fish for himself, then I guess he’ll be fine with eating mac and cheese and noodles, or whatever he can afford. 

This is where personal choice comes in. Able people who are unwilling to provide for themselves should be allowed to live the life they choose; and if that means poverty or a run down apartment, then so be it. They have a right to live according to their choices the same way the workaholic executive, who never sees his family, does.

On the other hand, those unable to execute the necessary steps toward self-sufficiency – due to some mental, physical, or psychological limitations, are the people whom society should strive to support. Of course, societal support does not, and should not, negate familial responsibility as the first line of support. Beyond that, society can use its collective resources to provide for its needy individuals. The word needy in this case refers only to those who are actually in need; not to be confused with the able-bodied who fall into need by their own volition.

Socialism would aim to “help” those able-bodied by throwing money and services at their poor choices instead of letting them flounder through and learn from them. 

Able people society is not obligated to “help” are those that: sleep in when they should be out job hunting; consider themselves too good to work manual labor or minimum wage; sit home collecting government money while their neighbor holds down two jobs; complain about their low pay, yet are unwilling to learn more skills; and demand others make sacrifices for them when they are unwilling to make them for themselves. People making those choices need to be left to those choices, unless and until they are willing to do things differently. There is a place for a hand up; we all need it sometimes. But a hand up is not a permanent solution to be taken advantage of by those that simply want more without doing or giving more of themselves.

It may sound harsh, but people will do what people want to do; and will try to do as little as possible while still getting what they want. Socialist philosophies rescue people from their own growth, enable the furtherance of poor choices, take from hard-working people, and encourage waste, fraud, and manipulation.

So, how about we help those who are truly unable; come alongside those that support the unable; temporarily help those able-bodied who wish to improve themselves; relieve the working members of society of the undue burden of supporting poor choices from the able-bodied; and simply do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

#notAfraidToThink              #workForWhatYouWant             #opportunityRocks

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