A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else. –John Burroughs
There is going to be a little ranting and raving going on here. I’ve had a question which has continued to baffle and perplex my apparently simple mind to the point that I’m finished trying to answer it. It’s one of those questions where you can’ figure it out, so you stop thinking about it all together in hopes that it will eventually come to you. But my question has not been answered, either by accident or with deep intent purpose in mind. That question being: At what point in American history did our Society lose the belief behind personal responsibility and dealing with the consequences for one’s own actions?
It would just seem that throughout history, people of every race and creed were of a different cut and grade than they are nowadays. John Brown the abolitionist, who was hung for stealing weapons and setting slaves free said, “I would rather die on the scaffold for God’s eternal truth than in any other way.” Socrates willingly quaffed his own poison as was the norm of the time after being found guilty for corrupting the youth and impiety. Essentially a philosopher being killed for philosophizing on subject’s people didn’t care for. Joan of Arc, a young 19-year old girl trying to free her French Brethren from the heal of English Rule, was found guilty by the English for insubordination and heterodoxy and burned at the stake for heresy. She believed god directly spoke to her, and as such, knew she was going to be burned at the stake. An odd premonition, just one of many she actually had.
At any rate, these people and countless others throughout history have come to some conclusion, and whether right or wrong, good or bad, held true to their convictions till the bitter end. Now of course the same could be said of tyrannical dictators and other evils, but sadly, they don’t even play the blame game.
Sadly, it seems many of us have grown into the privileged and bratty type, where the only game worth playing is the blame game. How often do we see this? Where someone completes an act, than because the consequences are too stiff and stark to face, they quickly shift blame elsewhere. The biggest problem is that the incidents are not isolated, but resonate throughout our entire social system. Let’s give a few examples as to what we’re speaking of here and how cowardly and criminal all of these actions are.
CEO’s of top Companies being fired and given the most ridiculous severance packages
This is only a problem for large publicly traded companies, but a serious problem nonetheless. How many stories have we all heard of a CEO doing a completely terrible job of managing, costing the company countless millions, using company funds for personal expenses, and the list goes on and on. Only in the end to be rewarded for their indolence and stupidity with grandiose severance packages. Now when a company is owned by a collection of people, those people have to elect others to speak on their behalf, which is generally what makes up a board of directors. Then these board members hire the best and brightest to run and manage a company. Problem is, many of the same people sit on many of the same boards for many of the same companies.
You can easily see why this would be a somewhat conflicting issue. Meanwhile, the actual owners of the companies, the stock holders, are just assuming that their business is being run in a smart and ethical manner. But what is ethical about someone failing at their job, and then being compensated for being fired? Those multi-million dollar severance packages should in the least go back into the company to try and make op for the error of hiring the dunce to begin with.
Government bailouts for too-big-to-fail banks and businesses
No business under a free market system is ever, or will ever, be too-big-to-fail. Where ever there is a demand that can be met, there will be people to supply it so long as it’s possible to supply. With that said, what business is too big to fail? Any answer would work. What business that is considered too big to fail could go under and not have hundreds of people waiting on the sideline for their chance to enter the market? Beyond the idea that any business is too big to fail, what business does the government have in entering the private market and helping companies in trouble? Also not to mention how the funds provided to these companies were often times misused, unneeded, and at no point should be a concern of a government.
Why would we support something that is failing, rather than try and support something that has yet to have a chance to get started. Free enterprise is the mainstay of this country, and there is nothing free about it when the government steps in and supports a certain section. It is absolutely revolting to think we rewarded bankers for not doing their job correctly, that the American people were on the hook for the gambles made and lost, and the government oddly supports monopolies of the type so much that they would even admit… they are too big to fail. It’s a frightening idea for a democracy with a free market system.
James Holmes, The Batman Movie Shooter
If you have not been following up on the story of mass murderer James Holmes from Colorado, all you really need to know is he’s pleading insanity. Crazy right? A man who devised an extremely well thought out plan on how to harm as many people as possible is claiming hes insane, and should not pay with his life for the crimes he committed. Even if he was insane, and was sane enough for just a moment to say he was outside of his mind when he did what he did, how could you live knowing the monster that dwells deep inside you? I myself would beg to be put down if I truly thought I was insane enough to unknowingly do what was done. But what he did was planned and methodical, which should show anyone he was at least sane enough to make a plan. But yet, now that he has to face the consequences of what he did, he’s turned from a stone cold killer into a victim…. The victim of his own mind. It’s awful, despicable, detestful, and there is no shortage of words to describe how terrible he is.
Let’s compare him to old Carl Panzram, a man who fully took responsibility for what he did. Before being put to death, he was quoted as saying the following, “In my lifetime I have murdered 21 human beings, I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons and last but not least I have committed sodomy on more than 1,000 male human beings. For all these things, I am not in the least bit sorry.” Then he went on to tell the executioner, “Hurry it up you Hoosier bastard! I could hang a dozen men while you’re screwing around.” Now this is certainly not intended to praise him for his actions, or being proud of what he had done. Merely to show that the man did what he did, and as terrible as it was, was fully willing to admit to his wrong doings and bear the burden of the consequences.
In The End
In the end, I’m willing to argue that people are just becoming weaker in their characteristics. Whether you want to call them cowards, yellow bellied, overly sensitive, or whatever. The point is, people make excuses and play the blame game like it’s their job far too frequently nowadays. Form politics to law, sports and school, and pretty much every aspect of our social environment, nearly no one can take responsibility for their actions. And for the life of me… I can’t understand why.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/713337
The author of this article is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this piece you can follow me on Twitter @JakabokBotch. The law can be a tricky course to navigate, and if you don’t care to shirk responsibility for your actions and need to hire a proper Boulder DUI Attorney, do the right thing and find one.
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