#2. You Learn Ways to Make Responsibility Suck Less
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Let's get this straight right off the bat: Nobody walks into their kitchen, looks at a pile of dirty dishes, and starts rainbow-farting joy at the thought of washing them. Chores suck, and when you're a kid, it's a case of "I'm taking out the garbage because Mom makes me." They do it because they have to. So do adults, but we tend to put a finish line on the race, and that's where the perspective changes.
As you get older, you'll notice that your reasoning changes into something closer to "I'm taking out the garbage because I like living in a house that doesn't smell like garbage." That end result is important, and that's what makes the chore worthwhile. "I'm cleaning my house because it's relaxing to sit in a living room that doesn't look like it's been house-fucked by a tornado made of dicks."
Hey, at least it didn't cum on your books.
It's the same with any responsibility. Even at a crappy job, you start to view menial tasks as stepping stones to something better. The more responsibility you take on, the more you grow in money and power. Yes, you're just packing boxes at the local black market baby warehouse, but do it better than everyone else, and now you're supervising other baby packers. Supervise better than the other supervisors, and now you're managing. Manage better than the other managers, and now you are the king of Cuba. Or whatever they have as a ruler there. I don't know politics very well, but I'm pretty sure that's the way it works.
This is a perspective that changes out of necessity because if you looked at every responsibility as a personal torture, you'd let your life go to hell and/or go insane. And putting a finish line on an otherwise shitty chore isn't just some bullshit optimistic hippie talk. It's a direct answer to the question "Why am I doing this?" If the answer is ever "Because I have to," maybe it's time to re-evaluate the task or your outlook on life, because one of them is a problem.
"Hey, dogs didn't need baths before humans came along. Fuck him; I quit."
#1. You Realize That if Something Happens to You, Other People Are Fucked
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Fair warning: Things may get a little dark here. I'll do my best to keep it light, but if it wasn't important, I wouldn't bring it up.
My dad died at age 49. For the sake of keeping it light, we'll say he died of Tickle Fartbutt Disease. He had no health care and no life insurance. The entire brunt of his funeral fell onto his brother, who was the only person in the family who could afford to pay for it at that time. My mom is on her last legs now. She has ... um ... Licky Puppy Syndrome. When she goes, I will be responsible for her funeral for the same reason.
In another article, I talked about how at some point in life, you become the tap instead of the bucket. And while I am proud of the fact that I finally became the tap, my parents never did. Because of that, other people will be taking care of their affairs long after they've passed. However, that being said, it's not just about money.
It's about a ridiculous hat that you're only going to wear once.
What really scares me is that I easily get a dozen emails and messages a year from young people telling me that they were about to or are going to commit ... um ... bunnycide (Christ, this is hard). And there is no way for me to convey to them the amount of people they're about to fuck over by doing that because in their current state of mind, they feel genuinely alone. They can't see the chain reaction of guilt, anger, sadness, and regret that mushrooms out like a nuclear explosion when something like that happens. And they definitely don't understand that no amount of reassurance in their note will convince a single person that it wasn't their fault.
They don't realize that every person they've spoken to feels the crushing grip of failure every time they think of what happened. "I know I could have said or done something to prevent it. I know he liked monkeys. I could have bought him a whole herd of monkeys. Wait, do monkeys come in herds? Let me Google that ... no, that's stupid, I'm calling them herds. I could have bought him a herd of monkeys."
Not crazy, snarly tooth monkeys, though.
I fully realize that plenty of adults go through this -- it's not a teenagers-only deal. The difference between an adult and a child in these situations is that a kid is used to being taken care of. If the parents notice him acting weird, they can step in and get him the help he needs. But when you're an adult, all of that is on your shoulders, which means you have to recognize that the situation isn't normal, and you have to get up and pursue a cure yourself. Because adults get shit fixed, including themselves.
An adult lives, goddamnit.