40 Comments

  1. Well done! You hit all the points I was expecting to see and then some. *nobody owes you anything. *no crying over spilled milk. *learn from your mistakes and move on. *you want something, go get it. *can’t get it? Sorry, find another way or another goal because nobody owes you anything. *need help? Ask for it, don’t wait for it.

    Despite the gruff sounding reply, I actually feel like a pretty compassionate guy. I’m not opposed to helping out and I don’t resent those that need help. What I don’t like are expectations of those things.

    And I want to be more like your goalie pal. Quietly doing good in the world without expectation of recognition or reward. Hats off to you, Goalie Man!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Awesome, Ty. This comment made my point in about 1500 fewer words! And you’re absolutely right about Goalie Man. You can never have enough of people like him.

  2. Personal Responsibility seems to come from a bygone era. I remember my father hustling every day as a small town lawyer with no faith in Social Security back in the 80’s. Now everyone wants a participation trophy and cushy job! My wife runs ecommerce sites and can’t find to hire Americans –not qualified and too demanding. Time to wake up and dig deep. Face the new global challenges and compete. GREAT POST!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Amen, my friend. I kind of know what your wife is going through. I was walking by a construction site the other day, and there were about a half dozen latinos/mexicans working like banshees on a new house. In the driveway, there was an electrician’s truck with two Americans sleeping in it.

  3. I love the whole Personal Responsibility Warrior thing (quick, get a patent on that sucker…it’s worth something!). It’s a great concept, that far too many folks are blinded to by the social norms of our deteriorating society.

    I suspect the number of FIRE enthusiasts who are PRW’s would be far in excess of the population as a whole. What more proof do you need that being personally responsible is the right path for long term success?

    Well done, great series. Keep preachin’ it, Mr G!!

  4. I like the whole PRW concept. Flashing back to my childhood one of my favorite cartoons was the grasshopper and the ant. The grasshopper fritters away the summer and spring while the ant busts it’s tail to prepare for tougher times. I fear society has drifted away from the concept of the ant, but I always want to be the ant. Help is great, and maybe someday I’ll need a helping hand due to a surprise issue, but it won’t be because I didn’t prepare for it by being the grasshopper. If it were I’d feel shame.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, FTF. I forgot all about the ant and the grasshopper fable. Excellent analogy. We definitely need fewer grasshoppers and more ants in this country. Like you said, nothing wrong with getting and receiving help. The key is to 1) not expect it, and 2) be worthy of it. Thanks for stopping by, FTF. Always great hearing from a fellow PRW.

  5. “Creating a skeleton, after all, is easy. Putting meat and flesh on that skeleton is another matter.” That’s what I’ve learned from watching Westworld.

    I hold myself to all of these standards and I think that everyone should try to do the same. I’m a bit uncomfortable with the idea of government benefits being considered coerced charity, though. It just has such a negative connotation and feels like we are judging people who receive benefits. The recipients of Pell Grants for example are usually kids coming out of very disadvantaged households. I was very lucky not to have to grow up in a disadvantaged situation and have no problem with paying my tax dollars to help those who were born into less lucky situations. That assistance isn’t coerced from me.

    That said, great article and a solid list of things to aspire towards.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed, Matt. I’m a big believer in coerced charity, but only for the poor. And you are right that the phrase coerced charity does have a negative connotation. I got to work on that. Promoting my PRW concept would be easier without such indelicate phrases.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Julie. No, I’m not familiar with A Man Called Ove. Checking with my library now. Thanks for the tip.

  6. I like your definition of a PRW (good job putting meat on those bones) and I admire the values you believe a PRW should espouse. However, I disagree with some of your classifications. Your definition of coerced charity rubbed me the wrong way. Your implication that being an unwed mother is irresponsible also doesn’t sit well with me (becoming a parent my accident is irresponsible, becoming a parent when you cannot afford to care for a child is questionable – the question of whether you are wed or not is just completely irrelevant in my book).

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed. Coerced charity does have negative connotations. But here’s my dilemma: how would you distinguish those government goods and services that are opened to all and those government goods and services that are opened to only a few? I called the latter coerced charity because I’m paying for something I can’t use. And you make a fair point about unwed childbearing. Not all unmarried women who have children are irresponsible. I got to work on that. I will say in my defense, though, that I wouldn’t want a daughter of mine having a child out of wedlock. Similarly, I wouldn’t want a daughter of mine foregoing college. In other words, I would encourage my daughter to play the odds. You aren’t a bad person if you have a child out of wedlock. And you aren’t a bad person if you don’t go to college. But if you decide to venture down either of these roads, you’re saddling yourself with an economic albatross that you probably won’t recover from. Thanks for the push back, Mrs. Bita. I got to do better on my end expressing my points.

      • First of all: I have always liked and respected how you deal with dissent on your comment wall. You encourage actual discourse, which is such a rare and special thing.

        Let me try and respond to “how would you distinguish those government goods and services that are opened to all and those government goods and services that are opened to only a few?”

        I think I find that acceptable because I look at them much the same way as I look at medical insurance. It is more about numbers and probabilities than anything else. Medical insurance works because it plays the odds. Everybody pays in, the unhealthy people get the pay out. Why is this ok? Because I, or someone I love, could easily be the person who needs the pay out. It can happen at any time, for circumstances that are entirely out of my control. I could be a paragon of virtue, eat healthy and exercise and I could get hit by a bus or a cancer stick. I could have a difficult birth requiring the best (and most expensive) medical care. So, because I believe that it _could_ be me, I am willing to pay in.

        I think I fundamentally believe this is true of most government programs. It isn’t me today. It isn’t anyone I love. I don’t believe that this is purely because of how awesome I am though. I think I got lucky. And so I am willing to pay for those who didn’t. And hope that if the tables turn, others will similarly have my back. This obviously isn’t true of _every_ government program out there, but it is true of many.

        • Mr. Groovy

          Awesome freakin’ reply. I love the way your mind works, Mrs. BITA. And I agree with you totally. The medical insurance example was spot on. But here’s where we may differ. I look at the compassion-industrial complex (i.e., government provided healthcare, education, business subsidies, and welfare) the same way I look at the military-industrial complex. They both provide valuable services, but I don’t want to become a slave to either of them. In other words, I don’t think either complex should have an unlimited right to my income/wealth. If either did, I would be free in name only. So, yes, I’m all for a safety net. Just like I’m for national defense. But I’m also for freedom. And if it’s a choice between my freedom and a more robust compassion-industrial complex or a more robust military-industrial complex, I’m choosing my freedom. The question before us then is this: has the compassion-industrial complex reached the point where it’s now encroaching on my freedom. I think it is. But there are obviously millions of others who think differently. Damn this constitutional republic stuff is hard. Thanks for stopping by, Mrs. BITA, and fighting the good fight. You’re a worthy opponent.

  7. I think you nailed it and I loved the concept of coerced charity. I couldn’t agree more with anything said. It is totally fine and dandy to take advantage of the tax code (ObamaCare, interest deduction etc) to your benefit. You’re stupid not too. But being silly enough to think these benefits will last forever and bring solely dependent on them is asking for trouble.

    Count me in as a PRW!

    • Mr. Groovy

      The federal government is $19 trillion in debt. Every state in the union has underfunded pension and healthcare obligations. And our fiscal woes aren’t getting better anytime soon. As you so succinctly put it, TGS, anyone who thinks the government gravy train is going to last forever is “silly” and “asking for trouble.” Thanks for stopping by, my friend. It’s always great hearing from another PRW.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I love it, Amber Tree. Not much downside to being a PRW, regardless of what age you become one. I didn’t wake up until my late 30s. And I didn’t become a certified PRW until my mid 40s.

  8. Ohhhh – You may need to develop a cape or uniform if this PRW thing takes off! 🙂

    I totally agree, people need to at least try to be self sufficient. Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule medical and physical disabilities come to mind, but for the most part people need to start stepping up! I understand the concept behind a Go Fund Me page. It was meant for good…but people have totally abused the purpose to help others and instead start pages for ridiculous things. Obviously, we don’t have to fund one if we don’t want to, but false claims or ridiculous reasoning has made me question the authenticity of others claims. Is this my cynical side creeping in? Probably. But it is hard these days to distinguish between real need and those who just want.

    So much good stuff to comment on here but to spare you from a super long one (like yesterday’s!) I’ll just add that the weird goalie sounds like he had a great heart. I wish we had more weird goalies in the world!!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Mrs. G talked about a PRW mascot with a cape too. And I hear you about the cynical side creeping in. But this is so hard to avoid when everything man touches is tainted to one degree or another with corruption and tomfoolery. Meh. On a brighter note, my weird goalie friend did indeed have a great heart. I’m with you, Miss M, this world could use a lot more weird goalies.

  9. Man, goalies are weird. I have a few close friends that are goalies and they continue to amaze me with their odd habits. I guess you have to be a little different to let guys rifle pucks at you every day.

    As usual, I am on board with everything in this post and love the Take Action message you put out there. Don’t wait for someone else to do it!

    • Mr. Groovy

      LOL! Yes, the job of eating rifled pucks is not likely to attract the mentally stable anytime soon. And though I’ve never met a sane goalie, I’ve never met one without a big heart. They’re usually the best teammates, on and off the ice. Thanks for stopping by, AE. You made my weekend.

  10. Madeline

    I agree on many points…but not everyone can be a warrior.
    I myself received a pell grant-as well as a merit scholarship- when I was young and did not have a family who could financially support me. With part time work, the grant, the scholarship, and yes sometimes the kindness of strangers, I was able to turn my life around. The help enabled me to become a PRW as an adult.
    I worry that in this harsh,and contentious, political climate folks might forget or overlook the part that to me is important…the best warriors,including the police, the firefighters and others in govt. know that true warriors are compassionate and protective.

    • Mr. Groovy

      “[T]he best warriors,including the police, the firefighters and others in govt. know that true warriors are compassionate and protective.” I couldn’t agree with you more, Madeline. Thanks for adding some necessary perspective. I really appreciate it.

  11. Marilyn

    Your post clearly described me. Iwas reading about me. Thanks Mr Groovey for describing/ verbalizing it. Count me in. I am a PRW

    • Mr. Groovy

      PRWs of the world, unite! I love it, Marilyn. Our country won’t be fixed by Washington. It will be fixed when the number of PRWs in the country hits critical mass. Thanks for stopping by, Marilyn. It’s great to know the seeds of a revolution have been planted.

  12. Donna

    Nice post, Mr. Groovy. I had to smile when I read

    “Roughly 40% of births in America are to unwed mothers”

    I’d be curious to know what % of births in America are to unwed fathers

    Smile.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! You are so right, Donna. Unwed mothers don’t become unwed mothers alone. They get a lot of help from some very dirtbaggy men. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, our culture doesn’t do a very good job of turning boys into responsible men. Sigh.

  13. Mr. Mt and I are in a weird spot where we work closely with kids who have been given the worst lots in life. Horrific abuse, drug addicted parents, neglect, ect. And while we have a lot of compassion, pity won’t help them. If they want to grow into successful adults, they can’t stay victims. Yes, they were victims. But they have to find a new identity. Because at the end of the day it’s their choices that will chart their path. And they have to make different choices than they have seen. It’s hard. We are here to help show a different path, but they are the ones who have to walk it.

    • Mr. Groovy

      “[P]ity won’t help them.” That says it all Ms. Mt. Your heart breaks for them, but in the real world, nobody cares about their horrific pasts. And that’s not a put down on the real world. A bank for instance is running a business. All it wants to know about you is if you’re a person who is likely to pay back your car loan or mortgage. The good news is that cultures are free. It doesn’t cost anything to adopt the PRW mindset. You’re a saint, Ms. Mt. I’m sure those kids your working with will have a fighting chance.

  14. I am a millennial, but want nothing to do with millennial ways . . . I’d much rather be a personal responsibility warrior 🙂

    You definitely hit all of the important points. Our futures are only limited by the excuses that we make for ourselves. I really hope that we succeed in teaching our children to be PRW’s too.

    • Mr. Groovy

      “Our futures are only limited by the excuses that we make for ourselves.”

      So freakin’ true! I was an adept excuse-maker up until my late 30s. Once I started adopting the PRW mindset, however, everything began to change–for the better. Oh, the power of becoming a PRW. Thanks for stopping by, Harmony. I love hearing from certified PRWs.

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