Some people don’t seem to want to accept responsibility for their own life. There are those who still blame their parents or school for their problems, even though they are now middle aged. Some people are quick to say, ’Some body should have warned me,’ in relation to things that are surely common sense. Think about the lawsuits that have been won by people who could have avoided an accident if they had taken responsibility for their own actions.
Our parents are certainly influential in how we turn out. Sometimes it depends on our perspective. Perhaps your parents gave you lots of freedom and you got into some form of trouble. You can blame them saying if they had restricted your movements more that wouldn’t have happened. On the other hand you can take responsibility for the mischief you got into. You can also see the freedom you were given as an opportunity to learn things you wouldn’t have otherwise.
If your parents protected and guided you every step of the way you may blame them for stopping you from growing up. On the other hand you may thank them for giving you such a safe home life. You may say it is good they protected you while you were at a vulnerable age but now you are an adult you are going to make your own decisions.
I know middle aged women who still blame their parents for making them leave school at the legal leaving age instead of financially supporting them to continue studying. In current times there are many more opportunities for people of all ages to study and get the qualifications they want. If people take responsibility for looking for ways to find solutions they are more likely to achieve their goals.
A woman was complaining her father pressured her into studying nursing when she left school. It wasn’t what she wanted to do. She could have followed her own interests at a later time but she never did. She was fifty years old and still blaming her father.
There do need to be warnings about danger. Barriers around unsafe structures or deep holes in the footpath prevent people injuring themselves. Without these barriers and associated signs people might not be aware of the danger until too late. Warnings about dangerous currents at the beach can save lives. Instructions to pedestrians and motorists about crossing the train tracks safely reduce the number of fatalities. However, there are some situations where people could take more responsibility for their personal safety.
Lawsuits have been won over claims where it could be argued the person should have taken more care for their own safety. An example is a woman who won a case against McDonalds after she spilt a cup of coffee on her legs. She suffered burns and needed skin grafts. Her argument was the coffee was too hot, hotter than coffee served at other places. While one may be very sympathetic for the woman’s injury, perhaps she should have expected the coffee to be very hot. Some cafes now don’t serve piping hot drinks and this is probably because they are afraid of getting sued.
Parents, the government and society in general do need to accept responsibility for some things but individuals also need to take some responsibility. It is empowering to decide not to blame others for everything that goes wrong but to do something about it. Albert Ellis, an American psychologist said, ‘The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.’