I’m a big believer in individual responsibility.
In movies, there has always been the Sigmund Freud type of psychiatrist who automatically tells his patient, “blame your mother”. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, that is always the comical solution. “It’s not my fault” seems to be on everyone’s lips these days.
It is obvious that most of the way we live our lives is based on how we were raised, and this can include a phobia or two that we have picked up and made pets of. Once you are an adult however, your choices, good, bad or ugly are your own.
Children who are learning how to relate to the world, start as totally selfish persons who seek only to satisfy their own needs as babies. The whole point of your growing up process is to learn that you are not the center of the universe. You must learn to take responsibility for your own actions. Simply put, if you break it, fix it or pay for it.
Today, the normal path is not quite so clear. A fixed moral code is quite uncommon today. Like a surfer reading a wave, situation ethics makes it possible for people to decide whether honesty is the best policy differently depending on their feelings about the current situation.
I remember an incident where a person I knew to be scrupulously honest did something wrong in my presence and when they were about to get in trouble for it, they lied and afterward explained to me that they would not allow that boss who was quite power hungry and dishonest himself, to gain power over them in this way.
I was quite shocked that absolute honesty did not survive that little test.
Some people find lying so easy it has become part of their normal code. Anytime the slightest shadow is cast on them, not even real trouble, the lie is drawn like a gun and fired. The worst of these folks will lie simply to make themselves look better at someone else’s expense. This disparages that other person’s reputation, but the liar goes about his merry way without a second thought. Not a friend I want to spend time with.
As a personal policy, we should really be honest and ethical at all times, then the perceived need to lie about these things won’t come up in the first place.
Who you really are comes out in the actions you take. Since integrity is so variable these days, the things people do are the real indicators of the moral stand they have. While none of us can look absolutely moral to everyone based on the differing standards all have, we should strive to keep as close as we can to spotless integrity.
One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.