the aggregation of your own habits and omissions

jing ping

Chinese - Mandarin
From Ted talks
You realize that homelessness, gun violence, gentrification, terrible traffic, mistrust of newcomers, fake news -- these things aren't someone else's problem, they are the aggregation of your own habits and omissions. Society becomes how you behave.

What does "omission" mean?
"Omission" can mean "someone or something that has been left out or excluded" or "a failure to fulfill a moral or legal obligation".
But I see neither of them fit here. It can't mean something left out, which is not mentioned in the context. If it denotes negligence, why does it pair with "habits"? Since omission is not the opposite side of habit but duty.
Last edited:
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Habits = things you do regularly; omissions = things you don't do. They're not exactly an opposite pair, no ~ things don't have to be that.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Lexico’s 2nd definition of omit, rather than omission, is more apt: Fail or neglect to do. In other words, what you fail to do doesn’t have to be a moral or legal obligation.
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