In recent years there has been a large shift in our society. We were once a society based on personal responsibility. This was the primary ethic we strove to teach our children. Slowly that focus has shifted toward teaching social responsibility. This topic came to mind the other day when I noticed that when I speak to my liberal friends about crimes or tragedy they instinctively focus or make statements regarding the perpetrator. It seems to soothe or calm them to find a reason for the action. They will bend over backwards to find the “shades of grey” that justify the criminals actions. Example:
Hey Liberal friend, did you hear about that guy who went to his workplace and shot up the place? “Yeah, that was really sad. He had just been fired and was having a hard time feeding his family.”
At which point I usually become frustrated, Let me explain my stance. Wrong is wrong and causation is irrelevant. Also the sympathy is misplaced. Shooting rampages are ALWAYS wrong. The victims were the injured/dead, and their families not the shooter. If I say it is wrong to steal, it immediately becomes a discussion of trying to find a circumstance that I would agree that it would be morally acceptable to steal. (So far I have only agreed to lengthy plots involving someone kidnapping a loved one, I have no means of asking for help from the authorities, there is no means of communication between me and my victim that I may beg for their charity, and the end result of my theft would result in the greater good of mankind. At this point I was tired of the scenarios and was agreeable just to end the conversation.)
One of my liberal friends was telling me how impressed he was with his children’s school teaching social responsibility. He said that his children are required to perform 20 hours of community service before they can graduate. Here is my problem. Who determines what is and is not community service? Also, since this is a requirement, it is no longer charity. The child is not learning to do something out of the goodness of their heart. It is just forced labor. The school is in essence requiring 20 hours of forced labor.
The movement away from personal responsibility has been to societies demise. Worrying about how to save the world especially at a young age can be overwhelming and disheartening. Perhaps the real intent of this change is to break the spirit of the youth in America. The American spirit has always been a driving factor in the success of our country.
It is more important to learn how to be responsible for your own actions. Social responsibility will grow out of personal responsibility. You can not care for others if you do not first know how to care for yourself. Further, when you truly learn to be responsible for yourself you learn it is in your best interest to be a good steward of others and the world around you. Personal responsibility is the only way to teach true social cohesion. Teaching Social responsibility is sort of losing the forest for the trees. When our children are not taught personal responsibility they experience life as what happened to them rather than what they accomplished. Without personal responsibility you can never truly appreciate the rewards of accomplishment and you only experience life as a victim. Entitlement is the end result. Then with the focus on social responsibility each feels as if they are entitled to a perfect world without knowing how to accomplish anything. Entitlement and accomplishment are polar opposites. Entitlement results in fear and pain. Accomplishment in happiness and productivity. Since the founding of our country is has been the most successful. I attribute that to our ability to take responsibility. This social consciousness is very perverse in many ways. Truly the most compassionate thing you can do for your fellow-man and society is to expect him to be responsible for himself. New York, do you honestly expect me to believe that taking away table salt from restaurants is the socially responsible thing to do? Liberals believe, or are trying to create a health epidemic in America. Some believe that citizens are too stupid to feed themselves. Apparently, there is a large segment of the population in New York that are so addicted to salt, that its mere presence requires them to pour copious amounts into their gullet. Their saving grace is that they are too stupid to bring their drug of choice with them when dining out. Personally I rarely put additional salt on my food, but who is the government to tell me I couldn’t if I so choose? By expecting personal responsibility out of others and allowing people to fail you are helping them to learn to succeed on their own. There are some who don’t get it, and never will. Yes it is painful to watch people fail, but they and others learn from failure. Failure is the key to success. When you reward failure, or prevent it you are postponing or completely eliminating their future success. When a person loses his/her job they can receive unemployment. What is the purpose of unemployment? To ease a persons burden in hard times and unfortunate circumstances? Does this actually prolong the pain? I have a friend who lost his job. He is a very capable single guy with no one to take care of but himself. He could have had a job in a month with less pay, and not necessarily what he would like to do, but it would keep him fed. Instead my friend decided to stay on unemployment for a year. He received the benefits to the full extent of the law at the time. When he was no longer eligible, presto he had a job. Who could blame him? I would have done the same thing. It is an inherent rule in nature that an organism seeks the maximum benefit with the least amount of effort. That’s why predators go after the sick, young, and the old. If I lost my job, I would use the benefit probably much in the same way, and delay my success. If the benefit was not available, my kids and I would survive. I would find creative ways to succeed. No job would be beneath me. Need me to scrub toilets? Kids gotta eat. Need me to flip burgers? Kids gotta eat. Hell I would even take a job removing salt shakers from New York restaurants to keep my kids from going hungry. (Trust me, for me that would be the hardest job possible. I would need to shower immediately afterward)
Definitions of Social responsibility on the Web:
“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.” – Douglas Adams
“No man was ever endowed with a right without being at the same time saddled with a responsibility.” – Gerald W. Johnson
“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” – Stanislaw J. Lec
“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” – Ronald Reagan
I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation; every possession, a duty.” – John D. Rockefeller
“The superior man blames himself. The inferior man blames others.” – Don Shula
“Nothing happens by itself. It all will come your way, once you understand that you have to make it come your way, by your own exertions.” – Ben Stein
“Provision for others is a fundamental responsibility of human life.” – Woodrow T. Wilson* This quote is only put in here as an example of the Progressive/Liberal/Socialist mindset. On the surface it sounds nice, but in implementation it is an impossible task that is seized on to collect power for the government.
“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” — John Galt