When I wrote Sick Systems: How to Keep Someone With You Forever, I was thinking of a few extreme situations I've found myself in or watched friends flounder through, so I considered sick systems rare and deeply pathological. What y'all are saying, both here and in conversations around the net, is that almost everyone has gotten stuck in a sick system at some point in their lives, and that they're an inground part of life in some slices of the world.
Something is wrong.
This is where I'm supposed to follow up with What to Do to Fix the World, but the answer is: nothing. You can't fix a sick system from within unless you have power, and you can't fix a sick system from outside, period. You can't compel people to leave. You can convince them to leave, but the moment that convinces them is individual, like enlightenment striking a monk because his master made a joke about a spade. And when a stuck person chooses to leave, it will be long, long, long after they should have gotten out.
So instead I offer you a list:
Qualities That Keep You in a Sick System
- A strong work ethic
- A need to be useful to others
- You don't need to lose these qualities to get out. But if you're stuck and trying to figure out what's keeping you in, remember that people rarely get stuck because of their vices. They're usually caught by their virtues.