It’s Not My Fault!

“It’s not my fault I have an F in that class. I turned the assignment into the wrong teacher and they didn’t tell me. But I did the assignment.”

“If I can’t come stay with you because my roommate is getting on my nerves, it’s your fault if I have to sleep on the street to get away from them.”

“It’s your fault I got a zero for that assignment. Yes, you reminded me it was due. Yes, you asked if I had it before I walked out the door. But you didn’t bring it to me when I texted from school I forgot it.”

“It’s her fault I quit my job. She got me mad. Now I don’t have a job.”

“He/She told me to do it, they dared me. I couldn’t say no. It’s their fault and should be in trouble.”

“It’s the restaurants fault I burnt myself when I spilled my food on myself.”

“No, I don’t take responsibility.”

It’s your fault because [fill in the blank]. It’s not my fault because [fill in the blank].

How many times have you heard something like the above from your own kids, about a friend’s kid, from a coworker, from a politician, etcetera? Maybe you even have used one of the above excuses for your own behavior.

I’ve been wondering today after one of my own children used an excuse, rather than accepting responsibility about something at school, last night. I wondered, did I ever say something like that when I was young because I didn’t remember ever assigning blame in such a manner.

In fact, it kept bothering me enough that I actually asked my mom about it. Thankfully she said no, she nor I ever blamed something on the school for something I hadn’t done.

Where does this lack of responsibility originate? I know how we raised our children. We had them accept responsibility, explaining there can be consequences and rewards in doing so. It’s always about choices, and the results can be negative or positive, but the choices, the actions, are their own and we have to live with what comes after making a choice.

I also know it isn’t just my own children. It seems to be a societal malady. I’d like to say it is just today’s teens or young people, but we hear it all the time from people of all ages, from teens to octogenarians. Wasn’t it just yesterday someone was trying to say the insurrectionists acted because of financial issues!

Growing up we didn’t have much, and in my life I have struggled with being broke more than once, but it never drove me to violence and insurrection. I’m quite sure I’m not unique in that as many people I know, and have read about, were in dire straits in their lives and didn’t once take up arms and storm a Capitol hoping to overthrow the government and murder an elected official. But, hey, maybe I’m just being old-fashioned. Maybe that is the new norm and the rest of us didn’t get the message?

Really, how did we get to this point? How did we get to the point of shirking personal responsibility? How does it happen even when many of us parents worked with our own children in not to be that way? When did it become okay to play the victim, blaming everyone except ourselves?

The larger question is, how do we get back to accepting responsibility for our actions and accepting what happens when we make a choice to act upon? When do we realize that accidents do happen, we have to write it things down to remember, and deadlines matter so we better put it on our calendars?

Hopefully it happens soon. I’m getting a little tired of all the whining and people blaming others for what happens due to the choice they themselves have made.

Who else is ready?

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