Let’s Talk About Responsibility

In a recent news story, a 17 year old was burglarizing a home when the owner shot and killed him. Family members of the deceased stated that he didn’t didn’t deserve to die and asked something along the lines of how was he supposed to get his money.

Obviously, loss of life is a thing to regret, no rational human would argue that point. But one must remember that when breaking into someone’s home, there is still an inherent implied risk. Just as there is no guarantee that no one will kick in your front door tonight in a home invasion attack, when you press your luck and choose to actually break into a home, you have no guarantee of getting back out alive. In this case, the homeowner was not home when the incident started, but rushed home when the security system made her aware of the break-in. One could well argue for and against rushing home in such a circumstance, especially when Police have already been notified. But such arguments are going to be about the wisdom of such actions, and should not be about the necessity. Everyone needs to protect what is their own, expecting others to protect it for you is probably foolish.

But I see a deeper problem here.

The entire world seems to be of a mind that people who commit crimes are not responsible for their actions, that instead they were forced into these actions by societal circumstances. Rest assured; the same people who make these asinine assertions would also be the first to demand justice if someone broke into their home.

One very important thing that is missing when we do not teach personal responsibility is that we never bring our youth to the point of understanding the flip side of the coin of poor choices=bad consequences is that good choices=positive rewards.

In 1989 I was on a construction site and a man in his early fifties walk up, picked up a shovel and said to the foreman, “Here is a shovel and no one is using it. On a site this big there has to be something that needs shovelin’. Tell me what you need shoveled and I’ll do it. You can pay me what you think is fair after you see my work.”

He was hired on the spot.

How else was he supposed to get money?