Monday, July 30, 2012

Aren't we responsible for our choices?

Holi Women- Oil painting

When I was little and I got a bad grade, it never occurred to my parents to complain to the teacher. It occurred to them to ground me and get me a tutor.

Nowadays though, it seems that everybody's adversities are someone else's fault. Today, I was speaking to this employee who sells "empanadas" at my work place. Well, she cannot sell them anymore because of our liability insurance and as we talked, she started crying. Her husband is sick and they almost lost their house. I felt real bad for her. I held her hand as she was telling me that she cannot afford the mortgage. She continued to tell me she pays $1,500.00 for her mortgage AND $700.00 as a rent for the land the house was built on. Now, this person is in her 60s and makes $9.00 an hour. I stopped feeling sorry for her when she told me that the house was real big with 3 or 4 bedrooms and that she paid $1,500.00 a month for mortgage. When she added the $700.00 for rent on the land the house was built on (yep, the land does not belong to her. I don't understand it either), I stopped feeling bad for her all together.

She is not the first person I talk to who bought a half a million dollar home on an adjustable mortgage and then got in trouble when the real state market crashed. All the people I spoke to would not be able to afford this type of home on a 30 year fixed mortgage. I understand that a lot of banks and brokers sold homes to a dog with a social security #, but I wonder where is our accountability in the choices we make.

I have noticed more and more often that we are constantly blaming others for things that are the result of our personal choices. I don't believe that blaming others for our choices frees us from the responsibility of the outcomes. On the contrary, the vice of blaming others for our choices robs us of the control over our lives, of the ability to take ownership for our path. It makes us an eternal victim.

45 comments:

An'Angelia Thompson said...

What else can I say but "Amen", Ana? It's one of my biggest rants - NO accountability ANYwhere with ANYone anymore. (Well, apparently there are still a couple of us who take responsibility and accountability for our actions) I shall not rant further... Great post!

Wendy said...

A-men. A few years ago I wrote in my private journal that the older I get the less my heart bleeds. While I feel a certain amount of pity for the woman, I also feel that at some point we need to take responsibility for ourselves.

On a different note, that piece is amazing!!!

Wendy said...

PS- funny you should comment on my post about Serena (she's amazing)! Would you be open to doing an interview about your work? It's completely beautiful! I would link back to your blog as well as your shop. Please shoot me an email at saltandwine@gmail.com when you have time. :)

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Ana. This is a pet peeve of mine, and this is something my husband and I talk about all the time --- how we are becoming a society that does not take responsibility for ourselves, and our actions. Accountability is something that was HUGE for my parents when we were growing up. They taught us that very well, much to our dismay back then, but it really paid off. I am trying to do the same with my daughters.

I'm not sure when this shift of responsibility began, but we're on the wrong track.

Your artwork is stunning, by the way!

gigihawaii said...

Well, she is definitely out of luck. We have been incredibly fortunate. When hubby was demoted and his salary cut 23%, we would not have been able to pay our 2 mortgages. So we waited until we turned 62 and got a reverse mortgage. Problem solved.

Gloria said...

Wow I love your pieces. Very interesting work. It kind of plays on what you talk of, the idea that there are those that don't know who they are or where they are going. I really like your piece. As for those that get themselves into a bind without thinking of the consequences,I feel a little sad for them, but mostly peeved in that they didn't think before taking the leap. Great post, take care and have a great week.

Kathy, PaperPumpkin said...

Your art is so moving and gorgeous. I agree that many people are becoming more and more irresponsible and less accountable for their own actions...and boy, do we teachers get blamed for plenty! PS purple carrots...only laughed because we were across the country, staying in a hotel, and my husband Still has to buy vegetables...! My, isnt YOUR mind filthy, hahahaha! And, PPS my flights really did go well, all four of them, even though I did see three lightning flashes in the clouds... I was mostly brave!!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

So many people live far, far beyond their means. It's a big problem indeed.

Lois said...

Sometimes when we 'lose' the house or the car, we are set free. Free of the battle with the bank, free of the competition with our friends. Sometimes it is a temptation to let it all go.

turquoisemoon said...

I agree with your post and the following comments. Lois made a very wise observation... Your artwork is amazing. It seems to be changing some???

Red Shoes said...

YIKES!!!!!!

She bought the house but NOT the land?!?!?!?!

That sure lends creedence to one great big WTF moment!!!

And an adjustable rate mortgage to boot!?!?!?!?

I teach this information at the university where I am employed... and one thing I stress to them is do NOT use an ARM to finance your house!!!

The rule of thumb is to not spend more than 25% of ones take-home for the mortgage.

I feel for her, but some people don't make wise decisions...

~shoes~

Red Shoes said...

BTW, BEAUTIFUL painting!!!

~shoes~

Ducky said...

I have no tolerance for this. Zero. When I needed to work three jobs, I worked three jobs. Living beyond your means is just ridiculous. I understand wanting...and I understand being in over your head. My exhusband was a "spend more than we make" kind of person. If you can get it on credit, great! And then his philosophy was to just stop paying on whatever he couldn't afford. OY! So I may be a little biased with my lack of tolerance. It's the bed you made....gotta bunk down in it!

La Dolce Vita said...

You are right Ana. The "victim playing mode" is used by many people, even friends to deflect responsibility. It also helps to get friends and sympathy. In fact, if you observe closely, you will see that many relationships starts with this kind of "I have been wronged/victimized" behaviour. And then they cannot move on beyond that mode, they are always stuck on that mode.
People are aware that they are living beyond their means yet they continue doing the same mistakes again and again, I feel that they do not take themselves seriously, or are not bothered at all- but want others to take them seriously and bother about them . Isn't it ironical ?
I love your Holi women paining, I love the use of a distinct/separate color for every saree. Well done and keep it up !

Ola said...

I would rather blame the system, who allowed selling such properties for a mortgage, like you said to a dog even. Banks are greedy and people are only people - over ambitious and not very clever...

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Jacquelineand.... said...

Ana, what a truly lovely piece.

You are completely correct about people taking responsibility for their choices. One of the wisest things I ever read was "You are not a failure until you begin blaming others for your mistakes."

Sulky Kitten said...

I know what you mean, this Blame Culture allows stupid,greedy people to take no responsibility for their own actions. This results in people making the same mistakes over and over. beautiful artwork, Ana - as ever!

Francie said...

I agree with Ola. I don't like the corruption in the financial world and my understanding is that an awful lot of people in your country were led astray by greedy bankers - to the point where it almost brought down the world wide economic system. On a happier note, your new painting is so fluid. It is beautiful and so calm. Where are they going, I wonder to myself...

foxysue said...

I think we can all own up to making bad choices and find ourselves dealing with the consequences, small or life altering, response-able means we learn, some don't!

Your paintings are wonderful, so full of life. x

Jenny said...

Hear Hear Ana... couldn't agree more... fabulous post... it is like people suing McDonalds because they are overweight... take ownership... we are all free to choose...

Hugs
Jenny x

NatashaMay said...

I totally agree with you. We are each accountable for our own lives. And as much as it's appealing to feel sorry for yourself, you need to pull yourself together and start making changes.:) Gorgeous painting! I love how the ladies look so intimate with each other.

Lynn Fisher said...

I hear that Ana. I talk to people everyday who's money got them in a huge bind...that and the need for stuff...and , he one I hate to hear most, "I just have to have Cable!"
It's those monthly bills that will sneak up on you in the end.

Sherri B. said...

Very well put, Ana...accountability seems to be a lost art anymore in our society. People make decisions for immediate gratification, and don't think about the consequences in the long run. Then they blame others for their poor choices. As always, I love your painting! So beautiful...

BamaTrav said...

Blaming instead of taking personal responsibility has become a way of life in this country now.

Jess said...

I agree, well said. :)
Jess x

Almost Precious said...

The oil painting "Holi Women" is fantastic. I love the vibrant colors. Even though the colors are powerful and beautiful, their flowing robes give the women a feminine softness that whispers to us gently from within the blazing colors. It's like an oasis in the midst of a searing desert.

As for the subject of your post, it is right on. People have become irresponsible, but then look at our government and the bad examples it sets. Spending money it doesn't have with no end in sight. Our age has become a "put everything on my charge card" society. Living that way will only result in accumulating a massive debt.

Jane said...

I agree with your observations. This mindset is seen almost daily in the news with people complaining and sueing at the drop of a hat. Personal accountability now seems to be a thing of the past. Your painting is beautiful :)

Arkansas Patti said...

I agree she made a bad move but I do feel badly for her. She was probably very naive financially and just didn't know any better. Now she could end up homeless. I feel a very greedy firm took advantage.

Jeanie said...

Boy, you nailed it with this post. We all have choices in how we live our lives and living within our means is one of them. I suspect I'd be right where you are!

On another note, thanks for your comments on The Marmelade Gypsy! I love it when you stop by!

Ariel said...

What you said is absolutely true Ana. It's so easy to put the blame on others.
Love this painting of women in bright attire.
Thank you for visiting Ariel.
Susan

Em said...

I had someone try to talk me into buying a house when I was only employed part-time and definitely not making enough for a mortgage payment. I said as much to him and he told me I shouldn't worry about it! I'd be able to sell the place at a profit long before the balloon payment was due!

Needless to say, I walked away from this crazy offer, but this is how people got in to trouble. Someone they trusted, who they thought knew more about all this than they did, convinced them they'd make money by doing this. Or could have the dream of a house by doing this.

The whole thing is tragic. But it's definitely time to face reality and responsibility both.

StephanieD said...

The colors are so vivid in this painting. I love the women's willowy figures.

I've recently, withing the past few years, been trying hard to see where my choices have led to dissatisfying situations. It's very empowering, actually, to realize that you direct your own destiny, whether good or bad.

JerseyLil said...

Ana, I totally agree! I have no sympathy either for those who purchased homes they could not afford and expect the rest of us to feel sorry for them. When my husband and I bought our home a few years ago, we only bought what we could afford (even though I would have loved a bigger house!) and got the traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage. In the last couple of years, the value of our house has dropped a lot because of all the foreclosures around us from people who purchased what they could not afford on adjustable-rate or interest-only mortgages. No sympathy for those folks at all and my equity has gone down because of them! And you are so right about how people blame others for problems they have created themselves. Good post! I love your painting at the top, beautiful colors.

Giggles said...

Beautiful artwork! Well said powerful post! We are accountable for our choices, however I often have compassion for those who can't seem to make a good choices! Maybe they weren't schooled or didn't have good examples! I do absolve myself from the life of those who are the chronic victims though. Takes too much energy to absorb their drama!!
Great post!

Hugs Giggles

Zena said...

I couldn´t agree more.This is the way we live now. I think any person can live as they want to, but every one has to take personal responsability for their own actions, no matter if we are too young or we are influenced by others... at the end we decided. And this is also applicable to bankers, politicians...

We are going through a deep economic crisis here, and the situation is becoming tragic, so I feel sorry for those who are suffering its consequences, but the situation is so serious that we won´t be able to face it up just playing the role of victim.

Here like in many other issues, acceptance is the key. This doesn´t mean that we have to like what we are going through, it rather means that we need to be realistic.

I work for the goverment and I am seeing how my salary is being reduced every few months, it´s hard, but my own negativity won´t fix it. Every time I go to work I meet people who is complaining about the situation and this doesn´t help me to keep up with my work and my life.

I try to focus on the things I can change and try to be aware of my choices also, but is not easy when every one is blaming other one. This is destructive but many personsdon´t seem to understand it...

Love the oil painting, fantastic colors

Zena said...

I couldn´t agree more.This is the way we live now. I think any person can live as they want to, but every one has to take personal responsability for their own actions, no matter if we are too young or we are influenced by others... at the end we decided. And this is also applicable to bankers, politicians...

We are going through a deep economic crisis here, and the situation is becoming tragic, so I feel sorry for those who are suffering its consequences, but the situation is so serious that we won´t be able to face it up just playing the role of victim.

Here like in many other issues, acceptance is the key. This doesn´t mean that we have to like what we are going through, it rather means that we need to be realistic.

I work for the goverment and I am seeing how my salary is being reduced every few months, it´s hard, but my own negativity won´t fix it. Every time I go to work I meet people who is complaining about the situation and this doesn´t help me to keep up with my work and my life.

I try to focus on the things I can change and try to be aware of my choices also, but is not easy when every one is blaming other one. This is destructive but many personsdon´t seem to understand it...

Love the oil painting, fantastic colors

denthe said...

Very right you are. Although sometimes I feel people should be protected against themselves...
I love your painting. Beautiful colors!

alteredstatesstudio said...

no kiddin'....you made that choice to take the loan (even though the banker was loaning to dogs....). i had to stop being friends with someone because she would not take responsibility for something that she had done. if you cannot take responsibility, you cannot learn from your mistakes and grow. none of us is perfect- own up, learn the lesson, and move on (doing the right thing.)

AntiquityTravelers said...

First, I love your art. Second, wow couldn't agree more. So many people seem to have expectations of what is owed them, or that someone should have told them, or, or, or. Where is common sense? How about a little research before you sign? Just because they are a banker, a politician, a doctor ... it is just their opinion. Ask questions, do your homework, and make your own decisions. It is your signature, your money, your choice ... take responsibility.

geetlee said...

Ana!
You hit the nail right on the head!!! Ultimately we are responsible for the choices we make.
Amazing!
xo

Lynn Fisher said...

I think you hit a nerve here Ana....look at how many responses you have!

Victoria said...

Gorgeous gorgeous art as always...and powerful post...well said..shine on!Always insightful reading your words!
Victoria

Meera Rao said...

I love the colors in your painting! Beautifully painted :)

Shaharoh said...

I agree with you especially when it comes to the president. I think a lot of people expected the recession to be fixed quickly but they don't want to admit they are the cause of it. Living being ones means is the American way --with capitalism waving in our faces everything we don't have but somehow need. We can't expect to come out of this until we start facing the music and only buying what we can afford.

:.tossan® said...

I could not but take a good look at its beautiful art of photography. spectacular gravuras