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Let the Blames Begin

The origins of irresponsibility

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Introduction

In this series we're going to be talking about taking responsibility. Each week I want you to ask yourself, "Am I taking responsibility for my life—really?"

Responsibility is not a difficult concept to grasp, nor is irresponsibility. Irresponsibility is when I don't take responsibility for the things I am responsible for. And irresponsibility, a bit like greed and some other subtle sins, is almost impossible to see in the mirror. I can see it in other people quickly, but irresponsibility is almost impossible to see in myself, and it is all around us.

I feel like in some ways our whole culture is becoming less and less responsible—that more and more, irresponsibility is almost celebrated. Our affluence as a culture has something to do with that. But there is also a strange confusion around the issue of civil rights in our culture, specifically around the Constitutional rights of the individual given to those of us in the United States of America. I don't think it was meant to be this way from the beginning.

Some of you know more about this than I do, but there is a new twist on civil rights that goes something like this: The Constitution has given me certain rights; therefore, I have the right to be irresponsible, and you don't have the right to hold me accountable. I have the right to do whatever I want to do and say whatever I want to say and act any way I want to act. You don't have the right to hold me responsible. At the same time, you are responsible to clean up the mess that I create through my irresponsibility. You are responsible to foot the bill that I have created through my irresponsibility. As an American citizen, my civil rights give me the opportunity to act irresponsibly, but you don't ...

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