It’s not my fault

How many times as parents have we heard the excuse “it’s not my fault.” “It happened because my brother/sister/friend told me to do it.” “I was looking up when I stepped on my sister’s hand. Her hand should not have been there.” “I was taking the glass out of the cabinet when someone interrupted me,” “I failed the test because the teacher made the questions too hard,” “I missed the bus because it usually comes late and this time it was on time,”

And, in today’s nurturing society we say, “That’s all right dear. We know it’s not your fault. It was bad luck.”

And thus we remove from people responsibility for their actions. We create in people a construct they carry with them for the rest of their lives. “I can do no wrong. Circumstances beyond my control have ordained that I will act in a certain way.” And so married people “fall in love” with a co-worker- not their fault. Love just came over and swooped upon them and there was no choice.

Today we see people literally all over the world blaming their leaders for the spread of the Covid-19 virus, Name the hated leader- it’s his or her fault everyone is getting sick. He/she didn’t listen to the experts. He/she listened to the wrong experts. He/she was only thinking of political gain. These citizens, if literate, read the research that has been done of social distancing and mask usage and see that the great majority of the research suggests that these are effective in reducing spread of the virus. Yet, instead of using that information to make a positive step toward a healthier society, some decide that it doesn’t apply to them/ it’s uncomfortable/ I can make my own decisions- no one’s going to tell me what to do.

Ah, it is so much easier to do what I want and blame others for the negative consequences. It is, in my view, antithetical to building a caring society- of being the kind of people to create a healthy environment for our children and grandchildren. Some of theĀ  same people who love the whales and are saving the elephants, are very concerned with them and less willing to “sacrifice their personal freedom” to save human lives.

Governments, good and bad, led by angels or devils, can only do so much. Adults in the society have a responsibility to act in ways that are healthy and compassionate. If the society fails, the responsibility falls on all of us. It will be our fault.

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