“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters”
Is it really?
I think the obvious answer is no.
Circumstances and opportunities do matter a lot.
But at the same time, it’s not like we have no agency, power or responsibility.
It’s not my fault I have chronic pain. But it’s my responsibility to deal with it.
I can’t eliminate the pain. There is no cure. But it is within my power to reduce how much it makes me suffer. I can focus on the things that makes my life meaningful, and reduce actions that worsens the pain (that’s another way circumstances matter a ton; whether you live within a healthcare and welfare system that can and will support people with disabilities – even when it’s quite an imperfect system).
I think it’s disrespectful to invalidate people’s lived experiences, to imply their hardships are their own fault while to denying the very real inequalities in society by saying ‘your reaction is all that matters’. But it’s also disempowering to act and be treated as if there’s nothing, however small, that you can do to improve your life.
All we can do is make the best of what we have.