I’m so tired of all the platitudes people spout. “Think positive,” “You attract what you put out,” “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” and so on, ad nauseam.
It’s rarely that simple. And if it is that simple for you, you need to recognize that you’re privileged in ways a lot of people aren’t.
I don’t lack will. I have a clear picture of what I want from life, and I’m willing to work my ass off to get there. I want to finish my undergrad degree, go to law school, and then I want to practice law, particularly dealing with the intersection between mental health law and civil liberties. I’d like to do some policy work on mental health as well. I have lots and lots of will.
But sometimes will just isn’t enough.
Will isn’t enough to cure my ulcerative colitis, to keep my immune system from attacking my body, to stop the bleeding ulcers and excruciating pain.
Will isn’t enough to fix my fatigue and weakness, to get rid of the cane I need most of the time, to stop my muscles from giving out when I stand for more than a few minutes.
Will isn’t enough to make public transit accessible to me in my area so that I can get places on my own and live more independently. (Believe me, I have actually tried. So has my city councilor.)
Will isn’t enough to raise me up out of poverty. (See above notes on my physical issues–they make it impossible for me to do the jobs I could get without a college degree). Will is not enough to make my government see me as someone valuable enough, despite my disability, to deserve to live above the poverty level or be able to meet my basic needs.
Will isn’t enough to find the money I need to pay for undergrad or law school, to be able to get loans when I don’t have a cosigner, to keep me from being crippled by debt I can’t afford when I do graduate.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way” blames people for being stuck in circumstances beyond their control. The logical extension of the statement is that if you’re trapped in a less-than-ideal situation, it’s because you’re not trying hard enough, not caring enough. Frankly, that’s bullshit. Nobody wants to be stuck in a bad situation. We get stuck there because we don’t have the resources to pull ourselves out, and bystanders who could help us choose to blame us or ignore us instead.
And I’m sick of it.