Beans and Rice Syndrome

Otherwise known as Dependency Syndrome, I Have Rights Syndrome, They Owe Me Syndrome, and Victim Syndrome

Definition of a Syndrome:

  • a group of signs and/ or symptoms that consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms.  Eg.  Down’s Syndrome,  Attention
    Don't Mess With Texas Syndrome

    Don’t Mess With Texas

    Deficit Syndrome

  • a characteristic combination of attitudes, opinions, emotions, or behavior that constitute a set values, character qualities, and perspectives on life  Eg.  Don’t Mess With Texas Syndrome, I’m Number One Syndrome,  The Heart of a Pioneer Syndrome.

In this excerpt in From Woodstock To Eternity, Dustin Morgan finds himself at the food kitchen of the hog farm at the Woodstock festival, contemplating his free food.  He is glad to get it, but it brings up a boat load of questions about the virtues and non-virtues of getting a free lunch.

“Yeh, man, peace and love, ya know.  We all gotta take care of each other or we’re doomed.”

“You got that right.  Y’know, this food is a life saver, but I almost feel a little guilty, like I shouldn’t be taking a free handout.”

“Ah, no, man.  Don’t feel guilty about it.  This is what it’s all about.” 

“Yeh, a lot of us got caught off guard.  But up to now, I always took care of myself.  I was just thinkin’; if I left home and went out on my own, then I should have to accept the fact that I’ve got to provide for myself.  After all, if I want to leave my parent’s authority, then I’m also gonna have to make do without their care and responsibility.”   


“Look at it from the other side.  If I provide for myself, I earn the right to be my own boss, right?  That means I don’t depend on them to provide for me or protect me anymore.  But if I goof up when I’m out on my own, I got nobody to blame but myself; my parents are no longer responsible for my mistakes.  Does that make any sense?”

“Yeh, I guess so, man.  You are getting’ way out there, though.  What’s all this got to do

Beans and Rice Syndrome

Beans and Rice

with a plate full of rice?”

“I’m getting to that.  OK, here I am, out on my own.  I left straight society behind, and I am sitting in the middle of Woodstock.  Now, today, I suddenly discover that I am unable to take care of myself, and that dilemma rattles up a nerve somewhere inside me that I failed.  I failed to see far enough ahead, or whatever.  So, do I expect the Establishment to air drop supplies down to me because I didn’t plan ahead?  No!  That would mean I am still obligated to them, because I need them.  Can you see that?”

“I don’t know, man.  I just live on the commune and they feed me.”

“What if you left the commune?  Would you still expect them to feed you?”

“I guess not.  I never really thought about it.”

Cosmo is living on handouts and he never thought about it.  That also means he never thought about breaking out and living on his own.  His initiative and creativity had already been snuffed out by the “Beans and Rice Syndrome”.

This Syndrome now affects complete segments of our society as they get more and more used to living off of government handouts.  Like I said in the post, You Get Tired of Steakmost people start getting bored of their existence, no matter how  good it is, once it becomes routine.  People who don’t have to work, who are living on handouts, also get stuck in a routine.  They never seem to get tired of their existence.  In fact, it goes the other way, they get used to living in their government sponsored poverty, and they lose all diligence and effort it takes to break out into prosperity.

Like Dustin said, helping each other out temporarily until they can get back on their feet is a good thing, But don’t let yourself get caught up in the freebies.  Flee from it like the plague, or you will end up with the dreaded societal disease called Beans and Rice Syndrome.

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