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Posts Tagged ‘Phoenix

Blame it on the rain…

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In today’s society people are accustomed to take the glory and the credit for success, but are so very quick to blame others for failure. I wont develop a story here, I just want to make a point about the abdication of personal responsibility in our society.

Okay, there is a quick story. When I first moved to Phoenix as a 16 year old, I found a job selling newspaper subscriptions door to door. One day I was out with my partner Brigitte in the Phoenix heat making our rounds in a well-to-do neighborhood. Now Brigitte had a can of Coca-Cola and when we got to the door she would just sit it to the side before ringing the bell. One house where we rang at was answered by a mother who ultimately declined to take a newspaper subscription. Upon leaving, Brigitte noticed her can was now gone. In its place was a little boy grinning like the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. After nicely asking the little boy a few times where her can was, she finally rang the door again and told his mother. Now I could go into the details, but the mother basically said my partner was lying and the cola could not have been taken by her son. She even offered Brig a can from her own stock. The thing is we all know how kids can be, and the little boy was likely just playing around with a pretty girl. As I was there and watched the entire sequence in silence, I at first was shocked the mother just blew it off.

As it is, there was a lesson there. Now from the mother’s perspective, we could have just been trying to score a free cola on a hot day. She did in fact ask her son what was the deal, and he denied taking the drink (his smile was as wide as ever, when he denied!). Based on the circumstances however, he absolutely took it. Actually I am speaking about the situation itself in that the mother likely did not know all the information that you have here, but the boy got to shake off the responsibility to tell the truth. Whether he was playing games or not, that’s negative reinforcement.  I want to think that my children would tell the truth to me when I ask, but I don’t give them the benefit of the doubt because of what that situation taught me. I try to teach them to bear the responsibility of whatever you have done, good or bad, and then I can teach them how to fix the situation.

We have all seen it before. A woman gets burned by McDonald’s coffee and a jury actually absolves the woman of any responsibility. That is an extreme example (the woman should have been more careful, frankly). No matter what happens, no one takes the blame for ANYTHING anymore. Generally, people today like to have ready-made excuses, as opposed to just doing what you can with the situation.

For some people, they aren’t to blame for anything starting with the person they are. We all have issues from our youth, whether it has to do with our parents, family, school or friends or some other influence. The problem is that those who never take responsibility for themselves, tend not to take any responsibility for the trouble they cause. The problem is that if no one takes any blame, than the issue at the heart of any problem can never be truly identified. Therefore the issue cannot be properly fixed and perpetuates itself. The point is not the blame, but rather that we accept the responsibility for the success and for the failure in our lives.

Yeah I am taking myself too seriously and preaching at that, but there is far too much blame-shifting in this world. This makes sense because the struggle for status and the spotless ideal does not make room for error. To admit error is to…gasp!…admit inperfection! In Germany, there is a colloquial saying that loosely translated means “what will the neighbors think”. The thing is, people gear their lives around this way of thinking. The idea that so long as you look good or keep up a positive appearance that you ARE what you seem to be is a terrible thing.

Written by lionoah

June 20, 2010 at 17:10