Learned helplessness is the condition of a human or animal that has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even though there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances or by gaining positive rewards. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation. Organisms which have been ineffective and less sensitive in determining the consequences of their behavior are defined as having acquired learned helplessness.
I found an article where someone took this idea and applied it to other social issues and as usual, I have not one original thought in my head:
And so we come full circle to Seligman’s research. Liberal rhetoric convinces people that they need government assistance to succeed; which in turn fuels “learned helplessness." This is the reason why the “War on Poverty” has been, for all intents and purpose, an utter failure. Although designed to be “the way out” of poverty, welfare programs fail because those that receive the benefits have little self-efficacy.
To revive America, we must put an end to the victim mentality and invoke a spirit of self-reliance. We do that by being coaches and cheerleaders to those who need help. Instead of giving handouts, lend a hand up and show people that they control their own destiny. While this will not completely fix the issues that face our country, it is a step in the right direction. Independence isn’t easy, but it’s far more fulfilling than being helpless.