• Yahel Applbaum

Right vs. Righteous

Today I'd like to bring up 3 issues that on the surface, might not seem like there is anything in common between them, though if we think about there is, a lot. I will start with the common mechanism I see between all three; entitlement, righteous and self-focus.

This post may evoke reactions- and I welcome them with open arms and sharp keyboard (#justkidding)- but here goes nothing.

I am an Israeli, Jewish, Cowgirl/ Ranch-girl, Horse trainer, that used to be 'the fat kid'. I am a part of a minority, or maybe even a few of them.

Minority: "a part of a population differing from others in some characteristics and often subjected to differential treatment"

That leads me to my first issue; being a part of a minority, a culture, a religion or any other social group or ethnicity- whether if it is by choice or by birth, doesn't entitle anyone to anything, especially not miss treating and hurting others. We have a saying in Hebrew; "he who steals from a thief is exempt from punishment". Think about it for a minute.

Yes, lands have been concurred and boundaries were re-adjusted, lives were taken and times have changed. Operating by 'what happened to us' as a nation, ethnicity or like said- minority, and resenting the other side will only increase the gap and miscommunication between related sides. Stealing from a thief does not make any one less deserving of a punishment or more worthy of the 'treasure'.

Fighting for what you have, for preserving and guarding what's yours- amazing. But fighting, for what used to be yours, fighting because of something that has happened in the history of 'your people' and presenting yourself as weak, mistreated and as a victim will not lead to result only resentment.

Righteous: "acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin"

No one, is free from sin or guilt. We all make mistakes, the consequences might be different and the perception and precautions varies. Acting as if we are saints doesn't make us ones, acting as if we are worthy or deserving of something because history entitles us of that might not get us far either.

That leads me through issue number two; we all go through stuff- for better or worse, everyone is fighting a battled or had to overcome struggles- there is no contest, no gold medal for the one who battle the 'biggest amount of shit' (pardon my language). Having gone through some myself, doesn't make me any more deserving or worthy- I'm not entitled for more, just more appreciative of it. It makes me work harder to not fall down again, makes want to protect and maintain the good relationships I have.

I don't over use my bad experiences in order to get sympathy I share it, loud and clear so that someone out there will know- you are not alone, this not about being selfish and trying to take what I think I worth, it is about being selfless and trying to help someone else realize that no matter how deep in the shit pool they are (pardon again for those who don't like cussing)- they can put in boots or grab a snorkel and get out of it.

Selfish: "concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others"

Once more, that leads me to third and last issue; we have talked about the behavior that follows unfortunate life events, or the miss conception regarding a relation to a minority or other social group. Now, let's talk about conscious choices and action and clarify some differences.

The third issue, is the choices we make- unlike the other that are (to some degree) things that happen to us. We are accountable for our own actions and behavior- putting the blame on someone else will not make us less responsible for it, just less trust worthy.

There is a "Friends" episode in which Phoebe and Joe are debating whether or not there is such thing as a selfless deed. The conclusion is that there is none (watch it, it is good); here is the deal, it is true. Choosing to help someone else might cost us in resources- money, time, energy etc…- but we still do it, because it makes us feel better, even superior. That is okay- this is a part of human nature. The uncertainty begins when the ability, not even the act itself, the ability to help someone else makes other feel righteous and entitled- they are superior, better than the one asking for help. Which is not always true, sometimes having the ability to help doesn't make you more capable- just luckier.

This is my own personal opinion- but those ones who are often perceived as the entitled and righteous people- these people, not so rarely, never had to ask for help or beg for mercy. So the point of view will be different, that does not make them less in any way- or maybe just a little less aware.

Making a choice, to act and live in a certain way is great, that means you are dedicated and willing to follow your values and put your words into actions- I am all for that.

Though there's a problem in our world and it righteous and entitled cousin, her name is IGNORANCE. People are too lazy to learn and too eager to preach, disregarding those who are on the other side, those who will be hurt and affected. Those people use their platform and consider themselves entitled.

Let me ask you that, how many of these "preacher" (nor religious ones) are actually educated regarding that topics? How many of them are aware of everything that is behind the marketing slogans?

Like said in above, those who choose to preach and locate themselves in a superior position, overlooking others, are more likely to have a soft landing if/ when they fall. They are more likely to have never cried help and more likely to cry "wolf" even though they are the wolf.

It doesn't matter if it is a political matter, a religion or an ag one- righteousness is everywhere. And those who are more likely to be the selfless, animal loving, culture seekers, givers, helpers, the ones who inspire, those who struggled and those who still do- those ones, won't have time to preach. They are more focused on DOING. Not talking and chanting slogans.

If you got all the way here just remember that- we are all worthy of greatness and success, but it is up to us to decide if sometimes it is worthy hurting someone elses for it? (the cause, doesn't always justifies the means)

With all that said, I am off to feed the horses, cause that's the way it really is.