“It’s not my fault!” How many times have you heard that? From teenagers it’s almost a daily occurrence. It’s as though their first response is to blame someone else. Instead of saying “That was my mistake,” they immediately try shifting blame to their siblings, friends, strangers…anyone other than themselves. But they aren’t the only ones.
It’s a common theme in society today to blame others for personal failings. Like the teenager unable to accept responsibility for their actions, a majority of people seem to shift blame for their actions on someone else. There are times when problems and mistakes are due to actions of others however its as though the initial reaction to any negative situation is to accuse anyone else. Rather than look inward to see fault, the prevailing attitude is to shift blame away from oneself and project that on others. By doing so, it’s no wonder the youth of today begin every defense of their actions with “It’s not my fault!”
Personal responsibility, the act and thought of holding oneself accountable for your actions is not prized as much today as it once was. Crying loudly about someone else and how they did something wrong is by far the path of choice for many. Maybe it’s the growth of social media where every individual can hide in anonymity and scold others or maybe it’s the constantly shifting moral values that don’t anchor an individual to certain societal morals that foster this attitude. It plays out daily in schools, homes, and society as a whole. Claiming responsibility isn’t the acceptable norm.
But what about the rash of public apologies from celebrities and sports figures for actions unbecoming of them, you say? Reluctantly, these popular figures spout off half-hearted, lawyer-created apologies only to regain the polish their actions have tarnished on their public image. Their insincere appeals for forgiveness are a ploy to gain public favor. Not that every apology is fake. But who can tell genuine remorse from a publicity stunt anymore?
“It’s not my fault” needs to be eliminated. It should be replaced with personal responsibility. Holding oneself accountable for your actions is far nobler than trying to transfer the blame. Accepting yourself as flawed, which is a human trait everyone possesses, is the first step in changing this attitude. The more this is done, the more responsibility for actions is made personal, the more the next generation will grow into mature adults capable of making rational decision instead of knee-jerk reactions to others because it’s not their fault.