We live in a world where some have tried to sue fast food restaurants for their own or their child’s obesity problem, where publicans and nightclub owners are vilified for selling too much alcohol and where class actions are being fought with cigarette companies. It’s always someone else’s fault, there has to be someone to blame and at the very least there are the excuses. “I over-eat because of emotional problems”, “I’m an alcoholic because of my rotten childhood”, “I’m an abuser because I was abused”, “and I take cocaine because of my stressful job”. Sit in any courtroom and you will hear the reasons and excuses for misdemeanours on every level. “This man, Your Honour, was arrested for drink driving but that very same afternoon his dog got run over, he was made redundant and his mother was in hospital with a fatal illness”. So what? He was arrested for drink driving. Was he tied to a chair, injected with alcohol and then put into his car by force and ordered at gunpoint to drive? No, it was a personal choice. It sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.
We are by no means perfect and we all make mistakes but if everyone looked at their lives and took a little more personal responsibility for the choices made then maybe things might start to change. Thankfully we all have free will and we live in a relatively free society but the price we pay for such freedom is accountability. Sex and drug education should be part of the curriculum in schools but they should also teach personal responsibility in every area of life. Most of our adult problems come down to our personal choices. It is easy to find someone to blame, it is even easier to make an excuse and although there are times when someone else is to blame – it should be the exception, not the general rule that we appear to live by.