Ah, that ever elusive topic of being responsible for oneself. Self responsibility seems like a rarity these days. Recently I overheard a woman explaining to a group of people why she got a DUI. Because, you know, it wasn’t really her fault. No, she was driving along, minding her own business when she swerved (on accident) and the oncoming car hit her. So when the police got there, because she just happened to have some alcohol (it was a tiny bit- yeah, enough to get her convicted of felony vehicular assault!) in her system, they arrested her for DUI and that is how she was victimized by the system. Never mind that she made the conscious choice to drink and the conscious choice to drive.
I hear stuff like this all the time.
Well, it’s not my fault I was fired. One of my co-workers was an asshole so I stopped doing my job to avoid him. That asshole forced me to perform poorly and therefore I was fired, and it’s all someone else’s fault. Never mind the conscious choice to quit performing the job. We control how we react to assholes, that’s a fact.
What ever happened to accountability? I was never allowed, as a child, to get away with anything. It was my fault even if I really didn’t do it. So I learned to accept blame and take responsibility for my actions (and in some cases the actions of others). This has carried through adulthood with me. When I got my first speeding ticket in 21 years the year before last – it was because I wasn’t paying attention to the speed limit signs posted and I was, in-fact, speeding. I have no one to blame but myself. I did not fight the ticket – I took my points, paid my fine, and I do my best to pay attention to speed limit signs
We all make mistakes and we all fuck up. It’s just that some of us get caught and others don’t. I think it takes a bigger person and far more character and honor to accept responsibility for ourselves and our actions than it does to blame someone else. Sadly, I view those who blame others for their own shortcomings, failures, or mistakes as weak, without character and dishonorable. And I generally don’t spend a great deal of time with people like that if I allow them into my life at all. As a result, most of those I choose to spend my free time with are people who are accountable for their actions and who take self-responsibility.
I have to wonder – what happened? When did it become okay to blame everyone and everything else for our personal fuck-ups in life? When did our choices become everyone else’s responsibility? I mean, I know not everyone is like this (I have the friends to prove it), but why is it becoming the norm? I think it’s something that we, as a society, should really look at.