Damned if I do, damned if I don’t: (n) a situation which one can’t win.
I have become convinced that self-pity is the greatest deterrent to human progress.
If you spend five minutes with any person, he or she will explain both what he or she wanted to accomplish and also why it became impossible.
I suppose this comes about because we think life is a puzzle put together by some Eternal Being and presented to us—and then we patiently but joyfully are to discover how all the portions are meant to fit together.
How could we have free will if we already have a puzzle made for us?
Is the premise that only certain free-will creatures even try to put the puzzle together? Or is it that the puzzle is so difficult that few have the time to pursue it or complete it?
I, on the other hand, happen to believe that life is a shoe box full of rocks, handed to each and every one of us.
The losers in life spend most of their breath-time either lamenting the meaninglessness of the rocks or attempting to put them together in some bizarre configuration.
They are the ones who begin to believe that you’re “damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
In other words, “Since everything is stacked against me, and my box of rocks doesn’t make any sense, what’s the point in wearing myself out—chasing rainbows with my saddled unicorn?”
Here’s a tip:
The box of rocks is a diversion. It creates equality.
It makes us all the same—none preferred—and offers a common paradox.
For once you look at your box of rocks and surmise that there’s nothing to be done with it, then dump your rocks—but keep your box. Then go out and start gathering what you’re going to need to construct what you really envision.
You might think it’s cruel for the Creator to ask us to use our brains to surmise that the rocks are meaningless. But by no means do we want every fool to figure out the puzzle, lest figuring it out becomes droll.