Virtue of the Week: Responsibility

The Dog ate my HomeworkTHE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK

If we could sum up the problems in modern society, it would be this: people in general do not take responsibility for their own actions anymore. We have created the problem over the course of generations, and with each subsequent generation we are making it worse. If people would simply own up to their own mistakes and take responsibility for their own betterment and that of their kids, we would be living in an entirely different world.

Some people never grow out of the childhood stage of needing to place blame on someone else for their own created situations. Our overloaded civil court system is a direct result of this problem. Sure, there are legitimate claims that need to be handled in a legal arena to force others to be responsibility for their actions, but there so many frivolous lawsuits of people trying to find others to be found responsibility for something that it is hard often to know the difference. Punishment is now unfashionable… because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility. Everything is colored grey.

How about our educational system? Parents often rage about how the school system has failed their child and it is the schools fault that their child is an uneducated idiot. Now you can’t remove all the blame from teachers as it is their job to try and teach children, but the children and their parents have a direct and much larger responsibility in the education process. Parents need to stay on top of the child’s progress (or lack thereof) and be an active participant to insuring their child gets the education and life skills (virtue-character education) they need, both in and out of school. Admittedly some kids have the personalities to make this a difficult proposition, but don’t try and place all the blame on the school.

Then there is the world of politics, and business, and churches, our marriages and personal lives. We are not the helpless victims of our circumstances. The world tries to tell us that it’s not our fault, that imperfections in our parents or our faulty genetic inheritance should absolve us of personal responsibility for our short comings. But difficult as circumstances may be, our parents gene pool do not relieve us of accountability for our actions or our inactions.

With the prevailing belief that schools, churches, communities and government needing to do more for us, versus initiating change ourselves, we will continue down the path. However, if you want to see a lasting change within your circle of influence, start with yourself and your family. Start to recognize when something is your own doing and deal with it. Ingrain in your children a sense of personal responsibility and a lot of other things would work themselves out.

YouTube Video on Responsibility:

Taking Responsibility For Your Life