Individuals decide their
Have any of you ever seen those "Truth"
commercials that promote anti-smoking by bashing the tobacco companies?
I love the one
where the "Truth Agents" stack fake body
bags outside a tobacco company's headquarters. The viewer sees the evil
tobacco executive looking down at the thousands of body bags his product
fills. It plays on the emotions of just about everybody who sees the body
bags and knows someone who smokes.
It plays on reasons by amazing the viewer
with statistics about people killed by smoking-related diseases. What it
doesn't play on is a
sense of individual responsibility for
These ads show the evil of the big tobacco
companies. They show corporate executives who know for a that their product
cancer, birth defects, emphysema and a
myriad of other health problems. What none of these ads say is that when
someone takes a
first drag, there is not a tobacco executive
holding a gun to the smoker's head. Oftentimes, smokers actually make the
smoke on their own. This is just one example
of our culture of excuses.
The current trend is to take a mistake
we have made and then flip it around on someone else. It puts up a smokescreen,
so the issues
become confused. This involves emotional
appeals like body bags piled around a tobacco corporation.
This culture of excuses even goes into
the courtroom of America. In some rape cases the defense will say that
the woman who was
raped dressed too provocatively, basically
implying that she had it coming, that the rape was her fault. They imply,
"You can't blame a
guy for getting turned on, can you?"
When the Columbine massacre occurred, the
question that followed the initial shock was "What kind of music did these
kids listen to?"
Marilyn Manson turned out to be the answer
to that question, so the deaths of 13 people became his fault.
Then the lawsuits started rolling through
the courtrooms. What has not been brought up is the fact that these obviously
were in their garages for sometimes 10
hours per day building bombs and sawing down shotguns. If my brother were
in the garage for
10 hours I'd probably inquire about what
he was doing. So my question is, where were the parents?
It's so easy just to flip things around.
Most people are probably focusing on what lousy parents Mr. and Mrs. Harris
and Mrs. Klebold
were, completely missing who's really
to blame the ones who pulled the trigger.
Individuality means an individual chooses
what he or she does. I am not part of a group collective. I am not a drone.
I am one person,
who makes his own decisions and answers
to them accordingly.
I don't hurt someone and then say, "The
(insert scapegoat) made me do it." I throw the punch. I say the words.
I write the column. I am
responsible for whatever outcomes my actions