It’s a Little Thing Called Personal Responsibility and Choice

So, I am frustrated and going to let you all know, probably going to piss off some people, but frankly….yeah, that is why I am the Outspoken Mom I guess.

So, personal responsibility, it seems simple enough, but more and more I find it is a phrase that is disappearing from our vocabulary. Now, we try and find blame elsewhere, it must be someone else’s fault, I can’t possibly be to blame for some error I made in judgement, an accident, or just a freak of nature event!!

It is horrible when things happen, when bad things happen, especially when someone gets hurt or killed. I am in NO WAY trying to minimize people’s grief or loss.

What I am trying to do with this post is hopefully make people realize how much we have become a nation of ‘it isn’t MY fault’ people! There are many instances of this happening all over the place and I am sure without you even trying very hard, you can probably quickly come up with 4-5 news stories in your area where this is true.

There is one happening locally right now in my area. A teenager drowned in a local city lake. She was swimming with friends when she went under and died. The beach she was swimming at didn’t have a lifeguard. Now her family is asking the city to close all beaches and lakes if there isn’t a lifeguard on duty and the mom has said it will become her mission to do that. However, here is a clip from the story in our local paper: ‘(her) family said it was unusual for her to go to a lake. After the near-drowning of her older sister around 10 years ago at an unguarded lake, her family was more likely to go to swimming pools or better guarded waters…..Yet last Sunday, (the girl), went to Cedar Lake when a friend persuaded her and her cousin to go, unbeknown to her family, said her aunt.’

So, the girl went against what her family would normally do, she was 16, and now her family wants to force the city of Minneapolis to close all beaches that don’t have lifeguards. Yes, it is horrible they lost their 16 year old, I can’t imagine the pain they are in right now and what a horrible loss of life, but it was a horrible accident, it was a mistake and unfortunately, sometimes accidents happen and if there wasn’t a lifeguard and she wasn’t comfortable with her swimming abilities, she maybe should have stayed on the beach. I know peer pressure is an issue at 16, but this is also where personal responsibility comes into play.

I don’t think it is fair to make a city close beaches that aren’t manned with lifeguards, for if that happens, where does it stop? Does it go past the borders of Minneapolis onto Lake Minnetonka? Does it go up to the Brainerd Lakes area and the resorts? Does it stop when it hits our own family cabins and we must have Red Cross training to be able to swim at our own beach or when we have friends over, we are responsible to supply a trained lifeguard?

Yes, that last bit sounds silly, but….where is the beginning and where is the end of this law going to be?

Or another story that happened a few weeks ago, a 22 year old was driving her motorcycle down a major freeway, hit road junk and flipped off her bike and died. She wasn’t wearing a helmet. Her mom used to beg her to wear her helmet when she road, but her daughter didn’t want to and chose not to. Now, her mom is trying to make it mandatory in Minnesota to have to wear a helmet if you are riding a motorcycle. Currently we have that law already for people under the age of 18. My take on the whole deal is, people know the consequences of getting on a bike without a helmet, they know if they are going 60 mph and fall off, there isn’t much that is going to protect them, especially their head. When you are over the age of 18, you are considered a legal adult, meaning you can make your own choices, stupid or otherwise. Hey, if people want to ride motorcycles without helmets, that is their choice, it is dumb choice, but still their choice.

Now, on to New York and their silly law (which I don’t know if has passed or not) of banning large sized soft drinks and sugary drinks, but allowing you to drink a 48oz pop if it is a diet. First of all, the amount of chemicals in a diet soft drink is obscene and if you want to ban anything…it should be diet sodas! But, listen, if someone wants to rot their teeth, become obese, and drink 4 glasses of 48oz coke at a movie, more power to them! I think their are making a bad choice, but it is their choice to make. Instead of going after the vendors and consumers like that, why don’t you try and educate or retrain our thoughts. Or silly yet, why don’t we do what Europe does and completely ban HFCS and other bad ingredients in foods. Yes, corn syrup isn’t allowed in any food in Europe and they manage quite nicely without it. Why don’t we do the same and put plain ole sugar back into sodas instead?

I remember being in high school and drinking Coke and Mountain Dew’s for lunch and usually having a peanut butter sandwich and a candy bar for lunch. I also worked at Burger King for 4 years through out high school, most of the kids my age worked in fast food or in restaurants or retail and ate at the shopping mall’s food courts for our breaks. Some of us were ‘hefty’ but overall, most of us were not. Why and what has changed now? Well again, choice and personal responsibility. First, the totally fake and made up food pyramid wasn’t drilled into our heads every single day. Yes, we lived off of pop and candy, and fast food, but we also were super active! We rode our bikes places, we walked, swam, played sports (and not always organized ones), we threw the frisbee around at the beach, we walked around the lakes after school, we just did ‘stuff’. Some of us sat around and watched TV and played video games, but not all the time. We didn’t live in a time when everything was all about the ‘now’. But, also most importantly, our families didn’t feed us McDonald’s and Burger King every night for dinner. Most of us had homecooked meals, that didn’t come from a box that said, “Just like homemade”

Also, our Cokes and Mountain Dews, they were a 12oz can, not a 24oz bottle. When we ate at Burger King or McD’s, a small pop was 8 or 12oz, they only had small, medium and large fries; NOT medium, large, extra large and jumbo. A Whopper or Big Mac was usually only something you ate after a big game or if you were really hungry, it wasn’t the norm to eat one everyday. We still have choices now, but there are few choices left at fast food places where we can just get a small (a real small fry) and a small coke, with a plain cheeseburger. Those days are gone, but can we really blame ‘big business’? Nope, if the depand wasn’t there and we didn’t order the food, they wouldn’t create it or make it. It was our own personal choice that created those bigger, value meals that are now the norm in our everyday diets.

Oh and one more thing in the local news right now….WHY are people trying to convince Public companies to say where they stand on marriage?! Who cares?!!!! I personally do not care where a company stands on anything because frankly, unless you can tell me every single employee agrees with that stance, I don’t care what some board or some CEO thinks about anything when it comes to marriage. In fact, as my husband says a lot, I don’t care what anyone thinks about marriage, period, end of story.

Listen, life is full of choices and personal responsibility. You can’t say you are personally responsible if you aren’t willing to accept the consequences of your actions! Don’t even get me started on people who mortgage their homes and invest everything they own, or don’t own, and give it all to some guy who promises 30% or more returns! When it comes to investing, if you can’t afford to lose it, you probably shouldn’t gamble with it, and ALL investments are some sort of a gamble, one way or another.

Life sucks, it really does, bad things happen to good (and bad) people every single day. That is the curse of living in a fallen world and that is what happens when you have free will. Hey, the blame game started all the way back in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate the Apple! Adam quickly blamed Eve, even though it was his free will/choice to do so. He knew the rules, he chose to break them!

I don’t want anymore rules regulating what I can/cannot feed my children, what we can watch, purchase, or do. Last time I checked, my husband and I were both relatively smart people, both college educated, we have survived this long and some how, only by the Grace of God, are we still here. I, personally, can think of a bunch of close calls on my part where I could have seriously been injured or worse. Life is dangerous, you can die riding a motorcycle on the street or walking across the street. You can get hurt riding a horse or riding a rocking horse.

It is a dangerous world we live in, but we need to start accepting our own personal choices and living, or in some cases, dying for them.



PS: This really doesn’t fit with this post, but my husband pointed out it is another thing that just pisses me off and set me over the roof with how absurd and just absolutely dumb it is….here is an article you must read, the line that pissed me off the most? ”

We have done much in the last five decades to chip away at the glass ceiling that still too many women experience in the workplace. Fathers’ Day — and every day thereafter — is an appropriate time to make a concerted effort to chip away at the glass ceiling that way too many dads experience at home. “DADvocacy” is a good way to begin that chipping; it’s ultimately for kids, parents and families… it’s not against anybody.”

UM, chipping away at the glass ceiling at home?!!! WTF! I have so many words in my head about this guy, I want to meet him and tell him just how stupid I think he is (and that is the nicest word I can say about it all right now) Here is the link to the newest phrase for men, “DADvocacy”. Oh yeah, it is about as dumb as you really think it is…….

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