Lake Powell, AZ Sunset

Lake Powell, AZ Sunset

Monday, January 2, 2012

American Accountability

You see it in the news and tabloids all the time. “John Doe’s defense at his murder trial was that he was raised in abject poverty. It was the influence of this circumstance and of his friends that sent him into a life of crime.” “Jane Doe was charged with criminal child neglect and theft. Her defense was that she was raised in an abusive household and in poverty, so didn’t know any better.”

Come on now! That has got to be the biggest crock of crap out there. What horrifies me even more is the fact that these “excuses” are actually accepted as viable defense pleas in all too many courts.

At the same time, the parents and influencing adults in the criminal’s life are held accountable for theses people’s behavior as an adult. While they may have been influences when the criminal was growing up, they probably have absolutely no contact or influence on them as adults.

There are very few of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s that didn’t have a bumpy road at least part of the time. I can’t see where it would have been any better since then. There is always poverty. There are always difficult circumstances. Even the rich child can be neglected or denied true nurturing. The fact remains, the vast majority of us did not turn to a life of crime. We didn’t jump on the Welfare line for a permanent, multi-generational free ride.

What did we do? We took the lessons learned from the hard times and used them as fuel to power ourselves out of the situations we were in. To borrow a line from an old song, “we picked ourselves up, brushed ourselves off and started all over again.” We took responsibility for ourselves and our futures.

We’ve been in some pretty hard times the past few decades. It doesn’t look like things are going to change much for the better in the near future. If we don’t want to see this nation go under we need to find a way to get the whole country as individuals to take a good hard look at ourselves. We need to evaluate just how adult we are. Being an adult means taking responsibility for yourself, your circumstances, your family and your community. Self determination is one thing every adult has. A backbone is another. It’s about time we all stiffened our backbones, accepted the fact we are responsible for ourselves and get off our whiny butts and help ourselves! No more excuses. No more pointing fingers everywhere else but where the final responsibility rests … in our own hands.