I have expounded on this subject many times, but I believe our society is suffering due to a lack of personal responsibility and I will continue to write about this issue.
Here’s a little story I’d like you to contemplate…
Little Johnnie is in the third grade and his teacher instructs him to study for an approaching test. Johnnie decides he is not going to study for the test and fails the test miserably.
Who is to blame for Johnnie’s failure?
The answer to this question should be unambiguous. Little Johnnie had a responsibility to study and he chose not to. He is to blame.
Instead, after Johnnie receives his grade he runs home to his mother and tells her the teacher did not teach him properly. The next day the mother calls the school, schedules a meeting with the principal and then goes to the school a few days later for a conference. During the conference with the principal, the mother lambasts the teacher over her reported failures to teach her child to a point the principal caves. The teacher is forced to give Little Johnnie a passing grade. Not once does the parent consider that Little Johnnie may be the problem.
This describes much of society today. People break the law, fail at reaching a desired goal, don’t land the job of their dreams, fail to get into the college they desire and then blame it on someone else or society for their individual shortcomings. The sad part…our children are learning less and less personal responsibility.
Consider a college graduate who let’s say majored in art history is upset because he can’t find a job. The graduate blames some societal injustice for his issues. When in reality that individual received a degree in a field that doesn’t have a lot of job offerings. Maybe he should’ve considered job offerings in the field before getting this degree. It’s not society’s fault he can’t find a job.
Do you like to be around people who don’t make excuses? Or do you prefer being around people who blame someone else for their issues? I certainly prefer people who don’t make excuses. Usually I find these are the same type of people who speak their mind. I often hear people say that they like an individual because they say exactly what they mean and never make excuses, even when they fail.
So often when things are not going our way it is hard to see our own shortcomings. It’s certainly easier to point the finger at someone else or blame some other factor. However, I’ve learned that by making an excuse I don’t learn or grow from my mistakes and this has kept me from reaching my goals at times.
Right now I need to loose about 30 pounds. Should I blame the soft drinks I consume, the fast food products I eat or my work for the lack of time to exercise for my weight issues? No. I need to eat better, stop drinking too many soft drinks and spend less time doing things like watching television in order to make more time to exercise regularly. That is my personal responsibility to my health.
I believe we need to take a long hard look at how we handle personal responsibility and consider the example we set for our kids. Do we want them to learn to blame others for their actions or do we want them to take personal responsibility?