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Friday, April 2, 2010

"it is what it is"

I keep hearing this expression from different friends and coworkers and I don't know if it's a sign of a creeping societal desperation or fatalism or what. To me it just means they've given up on something and they're accepting it instead of changing the thing they know needs changing. It also means they're willing to perceive something as negative and then just live with it (and the associated negative perception). A hearty no-saying to life.

Instead of conceding "it is what it is", the no-sayers could either: one, change the thing that needs changing or two, if it can't be changed, change the way they perceive it. "it is what it is" is lazy.

We participate in what it is. It is what we make of it.


Michael Drake said...

It is ambiguous.

Mike said...

A: No, it's a rabbit!
B: No, it's a duck!

It is contentious.

Unknown said...

'It is what it is' - a concession, often denied, in accepting resignation. A defense mechanism born out of the need to take no responsibility.

Is there something immoral about taking no responsibility? Many times over it has been said that there is an evil to crowds.

Accepting the status Quo... this might not only be irresponsible but could be dangerous as well. Just ask the survivors of WW2 concentration camps.

If a butterfly can unknowingly create a storm with the flutter of wings then perhaps taking responsibility can make a difference - at the micro level by altering perspective, and at the macro level too but not in a controlled fashion.

The little things matter right?