I heard an interesting argument the other day and wanted to see what my followers and others thought and hopefully initiate a good discussion.
Though we might site historic incidents as responsible for the current state of some particular group of people, to what degree are those past incidences important in going forward.
A thought experiment is presented where let’s say someone very wealthy has hit you with their car. This particular injury you receive however isn’t the kind that surgery can fix you right away, but rather will require years of physical therapy to become what you once were. Now the person who hit you might be able to provide you with the financial support, but nevertheless you are the one that must work and make changes in order to fully recover. In such a situation you could choose to take the tack that it’s not fair, why should you have to do all the work, and there is no doubt that it sucks and what happened in the past is the explanation for where you are today, but this gives you little to no basis for what you need to do, to recover from what happened to you in the past.
This thought experiment is cited as applicable to the sort of victim narrative that is prevalent today among oppressed groups. I think from a psychological perspective it is important to acknowledge wrongs of the past, and I think this is something that is not often down by classes and races that hold power, but that being said we often don’t ask the question of what we really need to go forward. It is possible that at least part of the solution lies in how we make changes as an individual and a group to overcome the obstacles that the past has set before us and not on those who did us wrong?
I would enjoy hearing what you all have to say on this topic. Where does our personal responsibility lie, in the face of deeply troubling past? When it comes to racism, are their policies that might make things better that are independent of past wrongs? If we want a future where we are judged as individuals and not by the color of our skin, our gender, our sexual orientation, etc, is there a better conversation to be had?