Dignity, Happiness, Independence And The State
Thus, they say, the individual will rise from misery and it will recover its lost dignity. The individual assisted by the Government would be happier, more worthy and more independent.
Quite the contrary I think. Both happiness and dignity are the responsibility of the individual. They emanate from the inside out. If someone believes that the Government is responsible for its happiness and its dignity, it will expect the Government to come to its aid in case of need. This creates a state of dependency. The happiness and the dignity of the person will depend of the effectiveness with which the Government will answer to the person’s expectancy. “Will depend” is the opposite of independence.
An adult should know that the feelings of happiness and dignity come from within. This is the responsibility that comes with the advantages of being an adult. Ideally, this should be thought to a free child by an educator parent. Most often, this is not the case.
If the statesmen want to be helpful, they should repeat over and over to the people that each one is responsible for its own state of mind. In a given situation, the individual has the liberty and the power to choose its emotional response. To be successful with consciously choosing its emotional response and its state of mind, the individual must first know that it has the liberty and the potential to choose and second, to practice this liberty until it becomes good at it. The Government acts detrimental to this knowledge, hurting, maybe involuntarily, the society that it pretends to help.
While external circumstances like becoming very poor will shock and shake the affected person, the person will stabilize relatively fast if it has the psychological knowledge to do so. Given a state of misery and hunger and of being publicly humiliated for that, the individual still has the liberty to stand and to express its inner dignity.
That doesn’t lead to the conclusion that the Government shouldn’t continue to assist the individuals in trouble. There is another reasoning about this. Just remind to the poor that the material assistance is possible because everyone, including them, contributed to the budget allocated for social services. And make it clear to them that the assistance doesn’t make the Government responsible in any way for their happiness and for their dignity. Again, those come from inside.