I’d like to take a moment and preface this rant, and my rants in general.
Some people are offended by me, and the things I say. In some respects, good; I have no problem with challenging the way people think. In fact, I take great pride and joy in eliciting such responses.
Having said that, I don’t post the things I post just to be a hard ass, some jerk that is simply trying to offend people for the sake of offending people. I enjoy hearing other points of view, and engaging in open debate. There are even times I will post controversial opinions that I am not sure I agree with yet, simply as a mechanism to garner more information on a given topic to better form my own eventual opinion of the subject matter.
Understanding why we believe the things we believe helps us to better understand ourselves, our own little microcosms, and ultimately our place and potential within the universe we live in.
Today’s rant is about something said by many people I interact with, many I respect and admire for other reasons, and thus it saddens me even more to hear these words spoken:
It is what it is.
To me, that is a statement of weakness, or of shifting responsibility, or of resignation and a broken spirit. Every time I’ve heard that phrase uttered it’s either because:
- People are tired of debating with me, and having run out of logical reasons for their standpoint, revert to this safety as justification for their unproven position.
- People have previously exhausted their own arguments with others over this point, and have resigned themselves to acceptance of the fact that there is nothing more they can do within their sphere of influence to alter the outcome.
Maybe I am a hard ass, because I don’t buy into that mentality.
I am passionate. I am strong willed. I exert my influence as much as possible. It makes my life easier and more efficient when things are done my way. If we’re truthful with ourselves, we all prefer this approach. Our way is what we’re used to, what we’re comfortable with, what we know. That isn’t my reasoning.
I believe in the right way. Like everyone else, I believe my way is the right way until proven otherwise. I’m not always right. Sometimes my way isn’t the right way. Sometimes I’m dead wrong.
I’m not adverse to personal growth. I think it would be incredibly narrow-minded of any of us to believe that we have all the answers on any given topic.
Yet I do have lifetimes of experiences that have forged my approach to things, my strong positions, my passionate defence of my views that some see as “standoffish”.
We all have diverse experiences. It is what makes us who we are, defines where we are going.
So why give up so easy? Why accept what fate throws at us as the fact of the situation? It’s a terrible lesson to teach to others. It demonstrates that we can be molded by the will of another. I am willing to be molded. I am willing to do so by choice.
Teach me. Educate me. Share with me your better experiences that I may grow. There are only two states of being in nature: growing and dying. Stagnation doesn’t exist. Coasting through life doesn’t exist.
I do not wish to die. I wish to grow, each and every moment of each and every day.
That is how you approach me. Communicate effectively. Present your arguments. Speak to me as one also on the path to learning, the journey of self-betterment. Don’t dicate. I won’t be dictated to. Don’t demand. I don’t respond well to demands. Don’t try to force your will on me. My will is stronger. Don’t tell me your opinion unless you’re willing to accept critiques and be presented with the flaws I see in your thinking.
These guidelines apply to me as well, every time I open my mouth.
If you aren’t willing to hear the answer, don’t ask the question.
I’m sure some of you will disagree with this rant, and I welcome the discussion. Just remember, it is what it is.
“It is what it is”
Its a hated phrase where I work; however, it garners hatred because it is said usually in association with a ruling from a bureaucratic institution in a regulatory role (or a client from one of those institutions).
There are things under our control and there are things that are not. While it can be said to be a statement of resignation in itself, it also expresses the existence of forces that cannot be bent to our will. At least, not while maintaining a professional (and profitable) client relationship.
There is wisdom, in learning which fights are worth fighting and in identifying an obstruction that needs to be bypassed instead of overcome. Many wars are won by not overextending in a particular battle.
I dislike instances when an obstacle is an opinion or belief that I do not subscribe to. It happens. It is what it is.
Deal with it.
That is our measure of growth in this situation. How we adjust to roadblocks, how agile we are , and how creative our solutions are to will further our goals without sacrificing our standards. Maybe we gather our determination and will to overpower the obstruction. Maybe we adjust or way of thinking and work around it. Maybe, sometimes, we have to adjust our goals.
Sometimes the best route forward is to take a step back.
Apologies for the length of the comment – the phrase touched a heated point of discussion for us when dealing with regulatory agencies at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels.
My friend, don’t apologize. It’s a great comment! Exactly the type of thing to open a good debate.
I agree with you so much – you have no idea!
I hate the phrase “it is what it is”. Absolutely hate it but like you said sometimes you hit a dead end and you just cannot move forward or win especially if you would like to keep a good long term client relationship or better yet, stay employed.
Sometimes, when I feel that our options haven’t been exhausted, I push my team and say “it is what you make it” … But once you hit that wall, you have no other choice but to either back down or find a new job.
Gotta pick your battles!
Anywho, good rant!
I do agree that taking a step back is sometimes the best decision when characters have collided. Such a move is adequate in cases when someone is too aggressive, when that someone has forgotten the rules for some reason and demands to be recognized.
But this is not your case, Roc.
I’ve been reading your posts since the last two months and did not find anything offending or disturbing. Well, maybe it is too early for me to have an opinion, but I’ll say it: It is your attitude of mind that is setting up a filter. Yes, a filter – you behave in a way that provokes people, but this is never a bad thing – this only means that you have the power to change things and create a vibration. This filter actually is what people call “the law of attraction” – you are looking for people that are as strong as you, people that have the same weaknesses as you, but you’re also looking for competitors. Yep, Minmatar attitude. 🙂
Sorry, I did not mean to analyze you, but this is what I think. Hope I’ve been useful.
And finally I will say that one should never get in the woods if they are afraid of bears. If they’re not up for a little verbal sparring, heh, then they should not open their mouth to someone like you. But yeah, some people are just too peaceful, or never think before they speak, never mind – it is their problem.
I also did not mean to flatter you too much or tickle your ego. I just wanted to say that I understand you.
Best of luck, man, you rock!
Oh, one last thing. Provoking people is a good way to make them ten times more productive. And this is what you’re doing – making your readers push their limits. 😉 I thank you for that.
There is a psalm, “I am a man of peace, but when I speak they are for war.” I am a man of peace, but I have seen that according to the times one must put away peace, and unsheath a sword. I will never agree with others that claim ignorance is the cause of misfortune or misdeeds, when often I have seen the most intelligent see an individual, the more sinister, yet just as often have I found many humble the most regarded. Indeed, instruction can help us all avoid trouble through experience, but those who rush headlong to evil will find my spear and my sons at the gate. True wisdom calculates the delicate balance between what is already lost, what remains to be saved, and what can be prevented. And the man of valor rides the wild beast to dance with vengeance can that only the innocent can applaud or give birth to. Justice is not in the eyes of the beholder, but of the slain.
There is a psalm, “I am a man of peace, but when I speak they are for war.” I am a man of peace, but I have seen that according to the times one must put away peace, and unsheathe a sword. I will never agree with others that claim ignorance is the cause of misfortune or misdeeds, when often I have seen the more intelligent an individual, the more sinister, yet just as often have I found many humble the most regarded. Indeed, instruction can help us all avoid trouble through experience, but those who rush headlong to evil will find my spear and my sons at the gate. True wisdom calculates the delicate balance between what is already lost, what remains to be saved, and what can be prevented. And the man of valor rides the wild beast to dance with vengeance that only the innocent can applaud or give birth to. Justice is not in the eyes of the beholder, but of the slain.
Woah, buddy. A little too emotional for my taste there. Tone it down a bit, eh?
You ended your last little essay with “it is what it is.”
Given the argument against the phrase we suffer through for several paragraphs, the least of your readers will recognize it shouldn’t be your closing lines. Irony? You didn’t sell it. Sarcasm? You’re too earnest.
You’re right of course, but you missed the humor in it in preventing a…awkward atmosphere for discussions following, in which it would otherwise linger, kinda like the IPA I had last night. ::bluuurp::
And yet, it was pointed sarcasm.
Yeah. I very nearly skipped over this post at the mere sight of this poorly regarded phrase. But, to my pleasant surprise, found myself nodding more and more vigorously with each point, echoing what I too felt concerning the false dead-end convictions of allusion! Then I came, at the height of my death-metal head bashing, to the end and felt a surging impulse to scream eyes bulging bloody insane while I stuffed Xerox’s of this post down Roc’s throat, while compacting the opposite end with a swift and might boot! But it’s a good thing I knew it for what it was! and so chuckled instead.
‘It is what it is’
Have to say that i disagree an yet agree with you.
I love this saying purely for 1 reason and 1 reason only.
It sets aside those that have given up or are willing to give up and those that are not willing to sit and take what ever is set up in front of them.
I prefer to surround myself with people that can converse and challenge society for what it is and how they can mke their surroundings better one piece at a time.
My friends have provided a new twist on the saying which I wish I could take credit for or even to say that I was the muse or inspiration to this gem of an idea.
‘It is what is was and will never be again’