This is not the first time that I have addressed the issue of no one taking responsibility or accountability for his/her actions or behavior in The Critical Thinker. As a school administrator, I deal with students every day who at some point during the school day willfully and intentionally defy the school rules and policies. When the students are asked what happened or why did they do whatever it is that they did? the response nearly one hundred percent of the time starts with the words "He," "She" or "They." When a student is caught hitting, the first response is "He/She hit me first" as if that is a free pass or the metaphorical Monopoly Get Out of Jail Free card for him/her to hit. When asked "Why were you running in the cafeteria?" inevitably the answer is because he/she/they were chasing me. Our children are learning at an early age not to be responsible or accountable for anything that they do. Nothing is ever their fault. The reason for their behavior is always predicated on what someone else has done or said. Sadly, our children are not the only ones using this defense. Far too many of us as adults do the same thing. In fact, that's where our children are learning and have learned the tactic from. No one takes responsibility or accountability for anything.
As I stated, I have addressed this accountability/responsibility issue before in The Critical Thinker, so I thought I would put a different twist or spin on this post. I challenge you over the next few days to listen to as many people as you can who are giving their reasons for doing something inappropriate or wrong. It may have been an honest mistake, but see how they respond. It can be on a newscast; a response in a newspaper/magazine article; or overheard in a conversation on the street, bus, office, school, etc. etc. Carefully listen to the reasoning and explanations following some sort of inappropriate behavior or mistake by our children and adults and keep a tally of how many times you hear the explanation start with "he," "she," or "they." Compare what you find with the number of times you hear the explanation start with "I," or "It was my fault." If you decide to take me up on my challenge, I ask that you please share your findings with our readers by writing them in the comment section of this blog. I would love to read about your results and I am interested to see what you learn. I agree with Judge Judy on this one, "Why is it always somebody else's fault?" Something to critically think about. I invite you to join me live each Saturday at 6:00 a.m. ET on gobrave.org and WP88.7 FM. You can also follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01.