Friday, July 19, 2013

Blaming everyone but themselves

I have long preached about the virtues of personal responsibility.  Far too many people expect someone else – oftentimes the government – to assume responsibility for their actions.  I had a caller to my show several years ago who was a second-grade teacher.  A little girl in her class didn’t know her colors and the teacher was concerned the child might have a learning disability. She scheduled a parent/teacher conference with the child’s mother and asked her if she had ever taught the child her colors.  The mother responded, “That’s what Head Start is for.”

Because the government has swooped in and taken responsibility for so many things too many people have shirked personal responsibility assuming if they fail it’s someone else’s fault.  Take the case of a 36-year-old Tennessee man who’s suing Apple Computers.  Why?  Because he says he’s addicted to pornography which led to his wife leaving him and taking his child.  He’s suing Apple because he said his MacBook wasn’t equipped with a filter that kept him from viewing pornography.  “The Plaintiff became depressed and despondent, unable to work as a result of observing porn on his MacBook,” the complaint reads.

Let me just say right up front that I believe claims of sex addiction are bogus.  Some psychiatrists claim that sex addicts suffer from neurochemical changes similar to adrenaline rushes which cause the addiction.  I suspect similar neurochemical changes can be observed in people who ride roller coasters but they haven’t come out with a roller coaster addiction.  At least, not yet.  I can’t wait for the first meeting of Roller Coasters Anonymous.

I was in Vegas recently.  A guys trip.  We took in a show, relaxed and did a bit of gambling.  I always take a set amount of cash in my pocket for gambling.  Inevitably, I always lose it but I build it into the cost of the trip.  My goal is to make the money last the whole weekend so I can enjoy the challenge of the game and camaraderie with friends.  There are ATMs all over the casinos.  I don’t use them.  Not that I haven’t been tempted to but I have something that’s called “self-restraint.”

Same thing with my computer.  I can access the very same porn sites as the guy who’s suing Apple.  I just choose not to.  We live in an instant gratification society.  With that comes certain responsibilities.  You have to know when to say no or, at least, no more.  The guy suing Apple is looking for someone to blame.  He wants to shift the responsibility for losing his family onto someone else when he is solely to blame.

Here’s the funny part.  The dude claims he accidentally accessed pornography when he mistyped Facebook.  Instead of typing the a-c-e he says he typed u-c-k.  Sure you did, pal.  He also claimed he had never seen pornography before.  He’s 36!  He says once he did, he preferred the women he saw on the screen to his own wife.  Sounds like he had a real solid marriage.

His wife better be darn glad she got away from this idiot.  The sad thing is he’s not alone.  Millions of people are blaming someone else right now for the situations they’re in.  Life hasn’t always gone my way but I’m man enough to admit when it’s my fault.  Sitting around and looking at dirty pictures all day is no one’s fault but his.  If he’s that weak-minded did it ever occur to him to just get rid of the laptop? 

Moral of the story?  Sometimes an Apple a day keeps the wife away.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

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