It's not just obesity of course, it's all around us. It's attitudes, lifestyles, ways of living, outlooks, and for some it's who we are.
Hasn’t Judith Collins poked the bear good and proper? And god bless her for doing it.
She has entered the sacred ground of excuse making, and the industry that has grown as a result of its acceptance. In fact, in many cases not just acceptance, but full and open embrace.
There isn't much left in life that you can't find someone else to blame if you so choose. It includes your lifestyle, your income, your parenting, your skills, your education, who you married ,why you're in court, why you are large, why you are angry, and why you drink too much.
There is the well-established series of groups and departments who espouse your outcome, feel your pain, and advocate for your rehabilitation. There is money and services readily and increasingly available to sooth your brow, dress your wounds, offer your excuses, or fight your corner.
Race is often used. If you're from the wrong race you can have special rules for things like medical school. You can put today's troubles right by blaming past wrongs. There is a whole tribunal for that and a lot of lawyers paid for by others.
If you're short on housing not only can you join a queue, you might actually be given a special deal. And now under the latest government's rules, once you're in, you don’t have to leave, which takes that welfare net and makes it a nice, warm, lifelong blanket.
Why would you work hard, improve yourself, shake yourself off, and shape yourself up, if it's easier not to?
Pre Covid the jobseeker roll was up 15,000 a year in an economy that couldn’t find workers. How does that even make sense? Because if you couldn't find work that was okay.
And because this "it's not your fault” mentality has spread and eventually anchored itself in our psyche, there are generations of kids that grow up knowing nothing else, and therefore expecting nothing else.
If you're obese, you can blame Mum because she was obese and call it intergenerational. It's easier than exercising and learning about nutrition.
NCEA, like sport, is not about pass and fail. It's about turning up and "achieving” or getting a nice warm Merit.
We have money services, shoulders to cry on. They're all designed to absolve you of your responsibility and self-responsibility. We have the lost art of owning something yourself, of giving yourself an upper cut ,of growing some balls, or a backbone.
The fact Collins got so much heat shows you just how soft, lost, and reliant we have become.