Those who can’t do …

April 12, 2012

… tend to tell other people to do it, I’m thinking.

I posted a comment to Charles Blow’s critique of how Santorum’s candidacy negatively impacted Romney’s, and part of what I said is that Santorum seems to confuse expressing how he would like to behave in a given situation with forcing others to behave that way.

That reminded me of that old saw about how those who can’t do, teach.  In Santorum’s case, he’s not teaching so much as trying to foist his aspirations onto others as rules for them to follow.  And that got me thinking about whether people tend to displace the dissonance of having an inkling about what they should be doing, but not wanting to do it, through a mechanism of telling somebody else to do it — “Gee, I see how this difficult situation could be solved, but I certainly don’t want to do it myself; I know, I can decide that my real responsibility is to let other people know what should be done in this situation and try to force them to do it, that would be another way to discharge my responsibility of seeing what should be done,” instead of using the principle solely in their own life.  Armchair quarterbacks, in a way, but with the added feature of dissipating the motivation to live out their actual principles in their own life.

I think that’s part of my aversion to all this book-writing.  I want people to model the behavior and to trust that if they do, in the long run it will have more of an impact than writing about it (while not actually doing it).


One Response to “Those who can’t do …”

  1. Rich Says:

    Intelligent people are full of doubts. Stupid people are full of confidence–Charles Bukowski

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: