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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

We All Can't Go


 

As a child, I was taught a biblical story in which the prophet Moses disobeyed G-d’s command by striking a rock with his staff when ordered to merely speak to the rock in the presence of the staff. Because of his disobedience, Moses was informed that he wouldn’t be permitted to enter the land G-d set aside for the Israelites (Numbers 20).

 

The biblical lesson was presented to me as evidence of consequences for actions. Even though Moses was regarded as one of the most holy human characters in the Bible, he was said to have been personally responsible and accountable for his behavior.

 

A number of adult figures central to the moral and ethical development of my youth reinforced this lesson. For instance, when in elementary school and unable to achieve academic success, I was disallowed from participating in celebratory activities with other children at the end of the year.

 

On another occasion, when in a children’s home and unable to attain enough behavioral points to enjoy various privileges, I wasn’t permitted to partake in outings to the local mall with my peers. Although these consequences may seem harsh in modernity, I learned that not everyone was entitled to enjoy benefits to which they believed they should, must, or ought to receive.

 

When teaching people about Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I incorporate this lesson into my practice. Noteworthy, I don’t need to tie a religious or spiritual element into psychoeducational instruction in order for it to retain relevance.

 

As an example, on rappers Red Inf and Crisis’ album Broke the Mold, with a guest appearance from UFO FEV, a song entitled “We All Can’t Go” is featured and which addresses the biblical lesson from my youth. Lyrics include:

 

Everything ain’t for everybody, they all can’t go. I wash my hands but the blood still stuck on my clothes [x2]. You either make it or you don’t, man. We all can’t go. You live or you won’t, man. We all can’t go. You say it but you won’t, man. We all can’t go.

 

Setting aside the false dichotomous framing (e.g., either this, or that), I appreciate that the track admits truth – not everyone is entitled to succeed, live, or to be believed. One can understand how this may seem like a bleak admission from a person who practices mental, emotional, and behavioral health care.

 

Nevertheless, I value honesty and I consider it a rationally compassionate thing to do when inviting people to consider the is-ought problem. Essentially, this lesson proposes that you cannot derive and ought from an is – you can’t demand what ought to be when faced with what simply is.

 

Even when considering the most astonishing proposal, that not everyone is entitled to live, I contemplate the factual nature of the claim. Capital punishment, war, death which results from the use of self-defense, and other such instances support this proposal.

 

“We all can’t go” from one step in life to the next. Sometimes, this axiom relates to the dissolution of a marriage. Other times, it corresponds with the loss of a close friend. Regarding the latter, the hip hop track in review continues:

 

Ayo, it’s pain in my heart, haven’t slept in a week. I lost a day one, and lately it’s been hard to find peace. I’m getting’ high just to balance my lows. You either make it or you don’t. On this journey, dog, we all can’t go.

 

This admission simultaneously alludes to self-disturbance from an irrational belief (e.g, I should be able to retain close friends throughout life) while disputing the unhelpful assumption (i.e., we all can’t go). Paradoxical thinking of this sort isn’t uncommon.

 

Nonetheless, I appreciate “We All Can’t Go,” because it offers a secular lesson that corroborates religious instruction I received as a child. No matter how much we may desire to attain or maintain people or things, we aren’t entitled to everything we want.

 

Importantly, there are consequences to our actions in life. For instance, simply because one irrationally assumes that mistreatment of a close friend will automatically be forgiven; the friend can deprive one of the journey to the promised land of companionship. Thus, we all can’t go.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW

 

References:

 

Apple Music. (n.d.). Broke the Mold. Apple Inc. Retrieved from https://music.apple.com/ca/album/broke-the-mold/1649102118

Apple Music. (n.d.). Crisis. Apple Inc. Retrieved from https://music.apple.com/ca/artist/crisis/907796735

Apple Music. (n.d.). Red Inf. Apple Inc. Retrieved from https://music.apple.com/us/artist/red-inf/403578158

Badboyx. (2015, May 20). Day one. Urban Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Day%20one

Bandcamp. (n.d.). Sharing Ramen by UFO FEV. Retrieved from https://ufofev.bandcamp.com/track/sharing-ramen

Farmerjohnky. (2018, March 17). Dog. Urban Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dog

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Blog – Categories: Disputation. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/blog/categories/disputation

Hollings, D. (2024, March 19). Consequences. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/consequences

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2023, October 2). Morals and ethics. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/morals-and-ethics

Hollings, D. (2022, October 22). On empathy. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/on-empathy

Hollings, D. (2023, April 24). On truth. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/on-truth

Hollings, D. (2022, November 7). Personal ownership. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/personal-ownership

Hollings, D. (2024, January 1). Psychoeducation. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/psychoeducation

Hollings, D. (2022, March 24). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2022, December 14). The is-ought problem. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-is-ought-problem

Hollings, D. (2022, November 14). Touching a false dichotomy. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/touching-a-false-dichotomy

Paka the Plug. (2022, October 29). Red Inf & Crisis - We All Can’t Go feat. UFO Fev [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/0MKz_VYjBXc?si=447TlC5KmMeE9cWj

Victorian Web, The. (n.d.). The Pisgah Sight [Image]. Retrieved from https://victorianweb.org/art/illustration/german/schnorr/34.html

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Schnorr_von_Carolsfeld

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Moses. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses

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