FROM THE RIGHT
By Bill Moore
In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, I addressed my concerns about the effect of Technology on our Culture and further, the effect on our culture of a “loss of faith”. In Part 3 of this series, I address the final part of my three areas of concern, how a loss of “Personal Responsibility ” is negatively effecting our Culture.
The Brookings Institute defines “Personal Responsibility” as the willingness to both accept the importance of standards that society establishes for individual behavior and to make strenuous personal efforts to live by those standards.
We live in a culture today that avoids personal responsibility at all costs. Instead of admitting when we make a poor decision or accepting the consequences of any decision, we instead blame others. It is someone else’s fault that made you make that bad decision. We blame family, neighbors or bosses for the consequences of those decisions. But never ourselves. It was President Teddy Roosevelt that stated: ” If you kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month”.
Yet when our young look to leadership for guidance , what they get is more blame on others and NO ADMISSION OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Look at The Federal Government as a prime example. Congress is not able to do anything. Whose fault is it? Republicans Blame Democrats and Conservatives. Democrats blame Republicans, especially Conservatives. No one in Congress admits they are in any way responsible for a ballooning Deficit, spiraling Healthcare costs, and a lack of civil tone. Our politicians are excellent examples of how not to treat people you may disagree with but should respect.
Look at our Courts today. Many people who get hurt in an accident that they may be at least partially to blame for, instead look for attorneys to sue looking for the person who has the deepest pockets to get maximum payouts legally. Court costs are so high, many times it is cheaper to pay settle a lawsuit than to fight the battle in court. even if you are right.
Dennis Prager points out that America is unique in that our society was founded on a belief your ancestors are far less important that you are. It is the belief on the worth of an individual. Critics point out Slavery violates this basic precept thus bringing the values of the Founders into question. Prager responds there is a difference between holding values and violating them. How many of us do not follow our values 100% of the time on a daily basis. That make us evil? Or in fact human with human shortcomings? Prager uses the religious belief ” Thou shall not Steal” to illustrate his example. He states he would rather live in a society that says” Thou shall not steal” even though people often violate it than live in a society that does not ban stealing.
Thus admitting we as a society are not perfect does not mean we should ignore the values that are at our foundation. The big question is how do we reverse the cultural change that is taking place eliminating personal responsibility for our lives.
We as both families and individuals, can do many things to begin to reverse this cultural change. WE CAN START IN OUR EVERYDAY ACTIONS. If we make a mistake, admit it. If there were unexpected consequences to an action we took, accept the responsibility and not blame others. When our children come in with complaints about an action or individual, do not assume they are right but investigate and if they are right support them in a proper manner that does not include name calling or demeaning another individual. If they are wrong, help them accept the responsibility for their actions. In the long term, modeling appropriate behavior will go a long way in shaping how our children act as adults.
Help your children and family accept the responsibility for their Education. They need to understand that hard work at school will help them attend the college of their choice in the future. If they do not choose to attend college for any reason, help them understand it is their responsibility to finish school with skill sets that allow them to get employment and be productive members of Society. It is most important we do not instill in them the idea Society is rigged and no matter what you do you will never get ahead. If our children believe there is no hope for the future why should they buy in with their dreams and hard work? As with Technology and with Faith, it is our responsibility to ensure our children are watching and reading appropriate materials.
It is appropriate to teach personal responsibility to our children and their personal relations with the opposite sex. Prager uses the inaugural address from President Obama when he called on the Nation to enter into a new era of responsibility. Prager sums up the meaning of that statement as ” Young Americans being guided by a set of clear goals: finish your education, get a job, get married and only then have children. Get the sequence right and anything is possible”.
Taking personal responsibility for one’s action is a major step in reversing the excess of our cultural shift. It was Oprah Winfrey who said” You are responsible for your life. You cannot keep blaming someone else for your dysfunction. Life is about moving on” As Voltaire said ” No Snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible” Let’s stop creating snowflakes and start making responsible adults.
Being responsible for ones action is the basis of the individualism that made our Country great. If we employ the suggestions in each of this 3 part series, we can and will reverse the cultural change that is destroying the basic foundations of our Nation. Control technology excesses, Return to the Faith that our Nation was born on and assume personal Responsibility for your actions. Simple but effective ways to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!!