Personal Responsibility

There seems to be a lot of people trying to evade personal responsibility in the public eye lately. Whether it’s sports stars, local personal responsibilitypolitical figures, or just your average person, we seem to have lost sight of one of the more essential truths of life: We, and only we, are responsible for our feelings, thoughts, and actions. Now it’s certainly true that it is possible for someone to be declared mentally unfit to stand trial in a criminal matter, but notice the language. They aren’t declared innocent or absolved of responsibility, they are declared unfit to stand trial. That means, essentially, that their mental status is such that the cannot understand what is happening in a trial and may not be able to represent themselves to the best of their ability at this point in time. Should they get better, they will indeed stand trial. Most of us never become that decompensated, thankfully!

Short of being that severely ill, we are indeed fully responsible for our actions and can expect to bear the consequences of them post-haste. No matter our particular struggles, if we are jerks the world will not tolerate us for long. If nothing is our fault our employers will not tolerate us for long. If we fail to meet our financial obligations to the best of our ability we will soon find we don’t have a place to live, a vehicle to drive, or other things we might like. The world doesn’t owe us anything. We need to pick up after ourselves. If we want to have satisfactory relationships of any kind, we need to think about someone other than ourselves a great deal of the time. If we want to be an effective human being, we must have boundaries and respect the boundaries of others. If we make a mess, literal or metaphorical, it’s our job to clean it up. Our mama doesn’t live here, and slavery is illegal. It’s really not asking a lot, but it sure seems to be more than many people are willing to do these days – and we see the consequences all around us.


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