Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Choice and (un)accountability

I remember several years ago, when I got into a fairly serious bicycle accident. While riding my bike down my street, I looked behind me toward my friend, not noticing the impending collision with the front of a dumptruck. Although the dumptruck was parked, I hit the grill with enough force to knock me out cold, opening a large gash in the side of my face and giving me a concussion.

(My friend, Freddy, ran to my house and told my mother that a dumptruck had hit me. I like that version better, but technically and according to Newton, we hit each other :). Okay, it was an inelastic collision.)

Several weeks after the resulting hospital visit, when the bills had arrived, my parents received a phone call asking them to sue our neighbor for parking the dumptruck there. (Apparently, the dumptruck shouldn't have been parked on the city street.) To their credit, they turned down this insane suggestion. It was my fault, we accepted the responsibility for it.

Lately, our society has moved toward the complete elimination of personal responsibility for one's actions. From our judicial to our welfare system, it is in vogue to say, "It wasn't my fault". Instead, we blame our personal failures on our parents, our upbringing, our religion, our friends, our enemies, our economic situation, etc. As a society, we are supporting this ongoing idiocy when we sit on juries.

Why can't we learn that when we make choices we are compelled to accept the consequences?

Women today do not accept the consequences of their own immoral behavior. The subtle fallacy of the pro-choice movement is that it is promoted as freedom for women to make choices. Women do have the right to make choices for their own bodies. However, after they make the choice (to engage in sex outside of marriage), they have made their choice. You just can't choose the consequences. At that point, the will of the mother has to be tempered with the will of the baby to live.

As a society, we must learn to own up to our own mistakes, or we are heading for disaster.


At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Camille said...

I would suggest that this extends to childfren raised in low SES families, abusive families, "ghetto's", reservations, etc. Guess what? You aren't the first person in your situation, and you won't be the last. What you do with what you have been given is up to you. As my History 4710 professor stated, "People need to learn to accept the responsibility for not only their successes, but their failures as well." As a society, we are only too eager when it comes to taking pride in our accomplishments, but blame is another issue all together. Suck it up, whiners, and realize the role you play in your own destiny!!!

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