They keep pulling me back in. Like crabs in a pot, all struggling to get on top, pulling each other down, making escape impossible.


We’re told that you can’t run away from problems. We’re told to work with what you’ve got. We’re told that avoidance is a dysfunction; a syndrome.

I’m not going to drive headlong into a bus. I’ll take avoidance as a rational tactic.

It feels as if there are more mad people than rational ones in the world right now. Perhaps it’s always been, but now they all have a platform to publish their insanity.

I advocate for peaceful interactions between people. I’m met with arguments about resources.

I advocate for truth and honesty. I’m told there is no truth, and honesty is overrated if lies achieve desired ends.

I advocate for the idea that theft is always wrong. I’m told I should vote.

I’m told that social media is a way to stay connected. All I see is an addiction to division.

I’m told that I’m responsible for others, but not for myself. MADNESS!

I’m told that consent is key unless it defies your worldview. I say consent always matters.

It seems to me that most people are hell-bent on separating consequences from actions. Pass the buck. Someone made them do it. Just following orders (or guidelines, or laws, or societal norms. Ethics be damned- they’re subjective anyway.) It’s their fault. What else could you have done?

Responsibility cannot be transferred. It cannot be eliminated, shared, or redirected. Whether you accept it or not, you are responsible for yourself and no one else (with the exception of your own dependent children). The logical reciprocation; no one else is responsible for you.

But that’s cold. Harsh. Selfish.

It’s not if you look a little deeper.

It’s not cold, or harsh. It’s rational. It’s not selfish (in the derogatory sense). It actually raises the value of generosity. When you give freely of your resources, time, and yourself, you are not doing so out of obligation, but in full clarity of your lack of obligation. To me, this makes the act of giving even more virtuous. What good can you claim you’ve done if you were forced or obliged to act? Generosity under duress is theft.

I don’t have it all figured out. Billions of people make up a society that is even greater than the sum of its people. Staggering numbers of relationships and interactions will leave us forever seeking answers in a sea of complexity. But it seems clear to me that some basic, consistent agreements are foundational to our life and progress.

Don’t steal.

Don’t initiate violence.

Don’t abrogate your self-ownership.

Don’t advocate for others to do what you would refuse.

The only part of this I really struggle to understand is; why is this not obvious and simple to most other people?

The addiction to conflict is rampant. I see no dysfunction in avoidance. I’ll withdraw.

By Cody Limbaugh

Author of STOP SETTING GOALS! and co-founder of The Lyceum. Cody and his wife Tali Zabari both write and create at LoveAllYourLife.com, where they share their adventures in #HardcoreHomesteading and personal development. Join the discussion in The Lyceum Community at LoveAllYourLife.com

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