Do It Yourself

If there’s one thing I can’t stand (OK, so there are about 462,123,108, but really, who’s counting?), it’s when people don’t do things for themselves. Now, I’m not talking about building your own house, or men opening doors for women, or babies waiting for their mothers to change their diapers. I’m not talking about people who hire housekeepers or landscapers or who take their clothes to the dry cleaner. No, I’m talking about people who would rather instantly ask someone else to do something for them rather than even try to do it themselves.
I’m talking about doing things with your brain.
I am a huge proponent of self-education. Of researching something you wish to learn. Of taking the initiative, digging in, and revelling in the thrill of the hunt, the excitement of discovery, and the joy in accomplishment. And it’s all so much fun to do on the internet, when you can sort through an immense volume of information. Virtually anything you want to know … can be found and learned. You don’t have to ask for a librarian’s assistance. You don’t have to literally dig through stacks of papers and books. Everything you could possibly want is literally at your fingertips.
Yet still, with “internet” a household word and computers about as common as TVs in our homes, some people seem to approach the internet with about as much brain-power as they devote to television viewing.
When I wanted to know about Pilates before I started practicing it, I researched it on the internet. A simple Google search led me to article after article. When I wanted to find a friend I lost contact with, I found her through the internet. The search was a little more difficult, but I was successful. When I wanted to buy a graphics tablet so I could have fun drawing stuff like the cartoon “me” at the top of this page and cards for my friends, I did a great deal of research to find a suitable one, and when it arrived, I hooked it up to my computer myself, even though I didn’t even know what the hell “USB” was. It took me much longer to do on my own than it would have had I asked someone to help, but when I finally got it up and running, I experienced such a sense of satisfaction that you would have thought I’d built the entire computer myself.
So much of what I learn I learn by trial and error. Rarely do I accomplish something outside my established realm of knowledge or experience on the first attempt. It is only through teaching myself, and making countless mistakes, that I learn anything. And yes, of course I get frustrated — sometimes to the point of tears, and definitely to the point of cursing, due to my lack of patience and my daunting perfectionism — but I get it done. On my own.
I cannot and will not tolerate mental laziness. I can’t stand when someone instantly asks someone else to do the work because he doesn’t want to expend the brain power to do it himself. (I also can’t stand physical laziness or sloth, but that is another topic for another day. Maybe.)
Now before you tell me you don’t have enough time to research anything or to figure anything out for yourself, well, take a look at how fallacious that is. You have a “blog”. You have the time to post about how drunk you got last night or how stoned you are even now as you’re posting. You have the time to complain about how out of shape you are. You have the time to tell the world about your “issues” and your angst. So don’t even try to tell me you can’t find the time to discover things for yourself.
Make the time. And don’t waste anyone else’s by asking for help just so you can sit back and avoid doing the work you should not only do on your own but that you should want to do yourself.
Just do it, for fuck’s sake. And for your own, too.