*prepares soapbox* Where is our personal responsibility?
What got me thinking about this was an article in The Washington Post about abortion. This isn’t the place for a discourse about what side of the abortion debate we fall on. As with everytbing else in life, it’s a multi-layered answer. However, what struck me in the article was a seemingly innocuous quote and caption from and about a young lady who was entering a clinic to have an abortion.
A protester outside the clinic approached the woman and told her, “your baby is beautiful” to which she simply replied, “I already have four babies at home.” In the caption under a picture of her information is mentioned that she’s having her second abortion. Now, the background reasons for her having the abortions aren’t given. Perhaps the reasons are medical or life-threatening. Without any frame of reference though, how many of us would assume she’s out here practicing free love, and thus being a drain on our tax dollars? And to be fair, the stories of Travis Henry, Antonio “No Glove, Much Love” Cromartie, Shawty Lo, and (link for Tennessee guy with much kids) falls into this as well.
This leads into the larger point. Society as a whole is acting like our decisions and actions don’t have consequences. The reasons for this thinking are layered, but I’d venture to say the overall mindframe started a few generations back.
Meemaws and Pawpaws of the the early to mid-20th century trained their kids in how to be responsible for themselves, and their communities. No not everyone of them did, but most. When these lessons began to wane toward the latter part of the 20th century, so did accountability. The standards that used to be assumed weren’t in effect anymore, and the downward spiral we find ourselves in began. I could make the argument that the breakdown of the traditional familial structure was happening at the same time. But, that argument is also for another day; except maybe it’s not.
It’s been said that “men want a woman to respect them, and women want a man to love them.” If we take this statement as fact, then there is no respect because men aren’t around to teach it, but I digress. However, respect for ourselves has waned, so…thoughts on this connection? Anyway, we’ve become a nation under God where people want to “do them” without the repercussions that come with it. When the repercussions do come, then we want to act like we’re above dealing with them.
As yet another saying goes though, “everybody has to pay the piper”. Those who take the chance to hone up to what they’ve done usually make out better than those who consistently choose to not do so. There’s another component to the personal responsibility equation. It’s enablement.
It seems that those who have the most problems with responsibility also have issues with people holding them accountable. If people in their lives aren’t willing to “check” them, then who will? Let me answer. Depending on what the issue is, society will. The government will. People who have no ***** to give about them will rectify their issue for them, and without love. Folks want to flex their muscles of individuality with no pushback, but that isn’t how life works.
It all boils down to a couple of questions.
1) Are we willing to step up and be the men and women we profess to be?
2) Are we willing to be held accountable for where we fall short?
Both questions are hard to answer because we have to take an honest look at ourselves, which is hard to do. But without doing so, we won’t be able to move forward in our personal development. And without greater personal development, we’ll continue to shirk personal responsibility.