Radical Somatic Responsibility (And A New Definition Of Kindness)

You’re mostly your fault. Admit it.

When people complain about their bodies and emotions, they tend to miss the central fact: true accidents aside, they’re usually doing what they’re complaining about!

When someone says, ‘I have a bad neck’, for example, what they mean is, ‘I bad my neck’. It was their use that caused the problem – at least, the majority of the time. Sure, there may have been less direct causes, like them learning a movement pattern from society or whatever … but they still moved their neck that way.

Emotions are also bodily actions that we do, as Paul Linden has pointed out. You don’t get angry as a passive victim of circumstance. You did anger in the body. Emotions are unconsciousness choices, but choices nonetheless. People getting offended is another example of this. No, you did offended, and that doesn’t automatically buy you rights.

This is critical, because until responsibility is placed back firmly where it belongs, no change is possible. We must first admit that we alone are doing something. Only then are we in a position to stop it and choose another way.

A radical insistence of responsibility need not be without heart. It doesn’t require a moral tone, and less direct causes can also be considered. Likewise, it doesn’t absolve us of kindness as a moral imperative. Our own behaviour and the society we create are important conditions surrounding the inner somatic choices people make.

A new definition of kindness might include creating the best possible conditions for people to acknowledge their own responsibility. Increasingly, I come across victim creation and even celebration – often as part of leftist dogma. This is one of the most vicious things a person can do, because it robs people of the possibility of change. Real kindness looks at people straight and says, ‘how can I help you change what you’re doing?’

Feel free to be triggered. That’s you, too.


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