The significance of this, as I see it, is that many of us suffer needlessly by accepting the blame for what happens to us as a result of things that are outside of our control. When I started smoking cigarettes many years ago, I rapidly developed a 2 pack per day habit. I knew that cigarettes weren't good for me, but nicotine is an insidious, addictive drug and I found it difficult to break the habit. Eventually, I quit for good, but after my years of dependency, I realized that I couldn't control the drug at all. If I smoked one cigarette, I would smoke 40+ per day. I know people who can smoke one or two cigarettes per day (or even less). For me, though, I know just what would happen if I picked up another, so I've remained cigarette-free (since 1972). My only way to control it was to abstain completely. For some reason, having utterly nothing to do with my personal responsibility, I'm unable to control a nicotine addiction. It's apparently an affliction with which I was born. Similar things can be said for drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction, and so on. Some people can drink or gamble in a controlled way. Others can't. There likely is some genetic explanation for that difference that would be outside of anyone's control. It's not simply a lack of personal responsibility! Almost anyone who tries cocaine or methamphetamine becomes addicted, so I understood clearly that I should never, ever try it (or a number of other things), even once.
There are other things that happen to us (or fail to happen, as the case may be) that are outside our control. Many people can't control their weight properly, for instance. Some of those who are able to do so often look with undisguised contempt at overweight people, thereby reinforcing the overweight person's perception that being overweight is simply a matter of laziness or revealing a lack of personal responsibility. This attitude reinforces the self-loathing that many such people feel, almost certainly making it even more difficult to take steps to fix the situation.
And some of us, through no fault of our own, have found we have a debilitating physical condition (such as cerebral palsy - CP) that many people find disturbing or even disgusting. As it turns out, I know a number of people with CP and have come to recognize their outward manifestation is very different from the person trapped inside that damaged body. Aphasia resulting from various problems can create the impression that someone is stupid or ignorant. It turns out there are many debilitating disorders, such as fibromyalgia, that have been seen in the past by many in the medical profession as a form of self-delusional weakness, but which slowly are coming to be recognized as real disorders and very much physical, not mental. However, the sufferers still are viewed by many with that undeserved contempt.
It's been my observation that many women see themselves as ugly or even repulsive because their bodies don't match the "cover girl"/"Barbie doll" look. They engage in all sorts of complex treatments to improve their self-image (botox, breast implants, etc.) and spend a fortune to buy a seemingly endless array of products to cover over their "imperfections". Whole businesses have sprung up to prey on this self-imposed lack of self-acceptance. And body image discomfort is not restricted to women! Many men have an obsession about their penis size whenever it's not big enough to qualify as a porn movie star! They cover up for this with puerile false boasts about the size of their "tool". Just for the record, I don't have a particularly large penis - porn movie producers won't be beating a path to my door. It seemed to work just fine for the specific tasks it was intended to serve, though. Why should I be reluctant to admit a condition that was entirely outside of my control? Does it diminish my image? As time has passed, I've come to recognize the foolishness of being concerned about such things.
We humans seem inclined to fail to follow the wisdom of the old saying I mentioned above. We should absolve ourselves for the responsibility for things we don't control, while at the same time working to do something about the few things over which we do exercise control. It's not our fault but we have a personal responsibility to ourselves to make the most of what we do have, rather than dwelling on what we don't have. There are people who can and will love us and appreciate us for what we are, not caring about what we're not, if we just let them. Learning how to recognize the difference between what we can and can't control usually takes time and experience, unfortunately. We shouldn't let the negative attitudes of the ignorant cause us to doubt ourselves. Whatever our failings and inadequacies, we each have something valuable to contribute, and that we can control!