A 38 year-old male lives in a small camper trailer in his mother’s driveway, has no job, doesn’t not want to do anything with his life, and tells his mother that it’s NOT his fault because he’s disabled. Now before judgement is passed, understand that this claim of being “disabled” is a recent claim he has made and there is no documentation or substantiation to this claim. Prior to this sudden revelation, he would get a part time job, keep it for about 6 months and suddenly “lose” the job through, amazingly, no fault of his own and then he would collect unemployment. Once unemployment ran out, the cycle would repeat itself over and over and over for 20 years. But nothing is his fault!
We are very good at declaring, and believing, that nothing is our fault, that we bear no responsibility for any of our actions or words. The liar is not responsible for his lies, no matter who they hurt or whose reputation or life is destroyed, because he claims it’s not his fault he spoke without checking the truth.
The drunk driver who kills someone claims it’s not his fault because the bar served him the alcohol or because his mommy and daddy never taught him the difference between right and wrong.
If we are truly not responsible for our deeds and words then who is?
Here’s what I witnessed when I went as a civilian ridealong with one of my friends who is a police officer. A young male was pulled over for a traffic violation (failure to stop at a stop sign). The officer approached the car (while I stayed put in the car watching the dash cam recording). The officer stated that there is the strong smell of marijuana and alcohol coming from the car and asks the young man to exit the vehicle. The young man gets out, the officer does a “pat down” to check for weapons but finds almost 1/4 of a pound bag of marijuana in the young man’s front pocket. The following conversation ensued:
Officer: “Is this yours?”
Young Man:“Dude, ain’t never seen that before! These ain’t even my pants.”
Officer: “Not your pants? Then whose are they?”
Young Man: “Dude, I was at a party and when I got ready to hit the road I just picked them up and put them on.”
Officer: “But you don’t know whose pants these are?”
Young Man: “No Sir! I have NO idea whose pants these are or how that weed got in my pocket.”
Officer: “So they’re not your pants but the pockets are yours?”
Young Man: “Nah Man! Ain’t my pants!”
Officer: “Help me out here…you went to a party where pants are not allowed or were you there as a male stripper or what kind of party was it?”
Young Man: “Nah man! These are my cousin’s pants. Yeah, these are my cousin’s pants.”
Officer: “What’s your cousin’s name?”
Young Man: “Ah man, I don’t know her name!”
Officer: “So you’re wearing ladies pants?”
This conversation went on for half an hour until another officer came on scene to assist. Eventually, it was discovered that the name tag sewn into the waistband of the pants was the same name as the young man and the same name on the ID card he had provided. But the young man continued to blame everyone else for his actions instead of stepping up and taking responsibility.
When I was growing up, my Dad taught me very early on that if I did something wrong, I needed to take responsibility for it. If I did it, and took responsibility for it, the punishment (which was painful) would be a LOT less than if I lied about it. Granted, I had to learn this lesson the hard way, but it only took once.
Yet taking responsibility for our words and deeds is still something our society refuses to accept. We love playing the “Blame Game.”