Today I want to shed a little "lyte" on personal responsibility. I originally wanted to blog about bipartisanship, but something happened at work to impel me to write about this topic. I work with elementary school kids in a before & after school program. Now kids will do something wrong on a fairly consistent basis, but they fall into two groups: those that own up to their transgressions and those that try to blame anyone or anything for their actions. Try to guess which group fries my bacon. I cannot stand it when someone doesn't take responsibility for their poor choices. And the thing is, kids see adults do it all the time, and it's no wonder that they emulate the same bad behavior.
Like, Alex Rodriguez, its revealed that he did steroids and instead of just owning up to his incredibly poor choice, he blames it on his age. He was 23 when he shot up, not 12, not 18, an adult who made the decision to cheat. Nice example for all of his fans. Age is not a reason, it is an excuse, and the difference needs to be made clear.
Another example, the Republican party. They were totally in charge of our government for 6 of the last eight years. What are the fruits of their labors? An economy in shambles, three broken countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, and the US), the largest terror attack in our country's history, the shredding of our civil rights, the drowning of a major American city, well, the list is exhausting. What is their response? That they "couldn't imagine" any of these things happening, that it was the previous administration's policies, that the Democrats are equally to blame, etc., At no point does anyone say, "We made some serious mistakes, but we are going to learn from them so you can trust us again."
Here's another example, our financial system. No offense, but your credit score is not an indicator of the content of your character, but does spell out how likely you are to pay your bills. Giving loans to people with no income, no credit, and no down payment; then chopping the loans up into little pieces and combining them with other bad loans, I am not a financial genius, but I can tell you it's a recipe for disaster. No regulations, never looking beyond your last quarter, leveraging your money at 30 to 1, all of this led us to where we are today. And is anyone owing up to their part of the meltdown? No, just give us your tax dollars and let the market correct itself.
Lack of personal responsibility is a cancer in our country. A virus, a parasite, that is sucking the lifeblood from our society, and won't stop until its host is dead. When a kid does something wrong on the playground, I make them admit it, apologize, and promise not to do it again. If they don't, they are not allowed to play. If a 2nd grader can do that, then our country can too. We have become a nation of whiners, and it needs to stop or we are all in big trouble and should be banned from the playground. Or at least put in a timeout.