happened to individual responsibility?
by Eddie Romano)
media current affairs and political discussion we hear a lot of
questions and demands directed at governments. We know that politics is
a slippery evolving business, with promises made and promises broken or
abandoned in the face of administrative complexity.
however, people are expecting more and more from governments, in fact
far more than what appears to be relevant. We constantly hear
interviewers asking government Ministers to “guarantee” such and
such, as a result of their policies.
Haven’t people worked out that nothing is guaranteed in life? Anyone
who attempts to guarantee anything is being foolish. It’s one thing to
be positive and optimistic, but another thing to be realistic and
relevant. Everything in life is fluid and in a constant state of
flux. In fact life itself, is a very tenuous and temporal experience for
most people. This includes individuals taking personal for their
actions, non-action, and motives.
know that governments have an obligation to make laws that are aimed or
designed to achieve a particular outcome, but if people wantonly break
the rules, then governments can’t really be held to blame for a
flagrant disregard of the laws. If people drink under age, and indulge
in downing “shots” of spirit in rapid succession for an “instant
hit” to wind up in a drunken stupor, and then go and drive a car, how
can a government be held to blame for the “road toll” statistics.
Similarly if men get bashed or women get raped in a state of drunken
stupor, we can’t just blame governments. Governments can’t legislate
to protect people from their own stupidity. Whatever happened to some
basic discipline, parental duty of care, and setting boundaries? These
are personal responsibilities.
governments have progressively put social security systems in place over
an attempt to protect disadvantaged people in our society.
Unfortunately, everyone now expects some level of “welfare”. We have
now advanced to the “middle class welfare state”, where even the
well-off members of society also expect handouts from government. This
was encouraged by “the politics of envy mantra” from the previous
Howard government, in their response to anyone who questioned the need
to subsidize already well-off people.
now in 2010 we have reached the stage where everyone expects the
government to provide for everything, solve everything, and then blames
the government if it can’t. Yet alternatively, the public has little
enthusiasm to make any real financial sacrifices or major contribution
towards solving major issues as global Climate change, which can
seriously and adversely affect the Australian continent. We can’t
“have it all” at no cost. Even the simplistic Abbott policies will
be have to be funded from the Budget, which means cutting other vital
services or raising taxes.
biggest issue of 2010 and beyond, is that of assuming personal
responsibility, and being accountable for our energy usage, our
pollution levels, radiation levels, noise levels, alcohol consumption,
water conservation and recycling endeavours. We can’t simply demand
that governments solve everything. Governments traditionally were
commissioned to take care of the affairs of the nation, primarily in
Defense, Customs, roads and ports, essential services, health, taxation,
and Industrial relations laws These are already substantial portfolios
of responsibility and administration. Now 24/7 media responses have
added to the process.
our governments are now expected to also deal with Child-care, Maternity
leave, Voluntary Euthanasia, Invitro-fertilisation, Surrogacy, Climate
change, Renewable energy development, Superannuation, Gay Rights, Binge
drinking, Petrol pricing, Supermarket pricing, and many other areas
where individuals previously had to make their own decisions.
many cases, personal responsibility for ones own behaviour is the issue.
Parental neglect, delinquency, binge drinking, driving without a
license, excessive speed, drink driving, theft, violent assault and
other crimes or social ills are now expected to be solved by
like investments and dealing with financial markets and real estate are
also a personal responsibility. We have seen how rampant greed has
clouded some people’s judgment in financial and investment decisions
and credit card use, as well as a lack of due diligence in researching
products or services to check if they are reputable, and of genuine
quality and integrity. Checks are also essential to determine
sustainability and long-term viability. We also need to check the
credentials of people purporting to be “experts” in the field they
are operating in. Motive and intent and customer service are good
barometers of integrity.
look around the world and see an evolving world, sometimes in various
stages of chaos.
is a result of natural change dynamics, and also an outworking of the
natural laws of cause and effect. In ultimate truth, nothing is hidden,
secret, or unaccountable. Some people still operate on the assumption
that there is no accountability unless they are actually caught
“red-handed” in the act.
is a part of the Tapestry of Life in some manner or another. Therefore,
accountable. Whatever we do or think will have an effect on others
around us. Those in positions of power and influence have a duty of care
to their constituency, They affect many lives and the environment. We
are personally responsible for our personal environment. This includes
the quality of what we eat and drink, the air we breathe, and the
company we keep.
are accountable for our behavior, and our social and sexual habits and
people and philosophers continue to ask; “What is the purpose of
life”? Life is about perception (appearances) as well as practice. In
practical terms life is about self-expression, growth and learning. On a
more esoteric level life is about becoming fully conscious and
spiritually empowered. This of course requires a path of
self-discipline, balance, empathy, and an expansion of consciousness. In
its entirety, it involves understanding Life expression as a “web of
interaction” or inter-dependence. This requires accountability &
of the big lessons of physical life and expression is “relativity”.
No, not Einstein’s Law of Relativity, but the relativity of multitudes
of diversity. This means that everyone is traveling a different
life-path, vocation, occupation, goal setting, and location. We are
functioning within different nations, regions, cultures, religions,
philosophies, and according to our maturity, age and development, and
personal timing and priorities. So people are functioning at different
wavelengths, whether physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually;
and with different belief-systems, motives, and values.
it is not a case of “one size fits all” in defining political
policy, or social policy. The
of the Land are necessary however to create boundaries of behaviour to
protect the basic rights of nations, individuals and property.
Governments come under much pressure from the general community to “do
something”. Unfortunately there are many competing interests who are
lobbying governments to retain the status quo.
is due to big revenue received from Clubs, Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug
companies, but also from the sex/entertainment industry, and people who
want zero censorship, and no limits on their “rights” to “have it
all”. If these interest groups were suitably accountable for the cause
and effect of their actions and products, it would be a great help.
Unfortunately profit is often the name of the game, and profit has
hijacked the agenda of governments to some degree. It has also
influenced our moral and social agenda.
have unfortunately entered into the syndrome known as “the blame
game”. People tend to allocate blame as a means of deflecting
attention from their own failings, actions, lack of action, and personal
shortcomings. Blaming others is easy. Discrediting or undermining others
is easier than taking appropriate and personal responsibility for making
ones own life meaningful, manageable, or successful. Demanding
governments “fix” everything or provide everything is another easy
short cut. It is the path of least resistance, and inability to make
appropriate decisions to deal with issues.
New Era of Accountability is upon us. Climate change isn’t going away.
Over-population isn’t going away. Crime and violence isn’t going
away. The global financial crisis has eased somewhat, but isn’t going
away. Out-of-control behaviour, and drug and alcohol abuse are personal
issues that won’t go away until individuals correct their behaviour.
To achieve this involves finding a better way of living and dealing with
our issues. We can never expect, or “demand” that our governments
can “fix it” or solve every problem.
are creators, and we learn from our own creations through the cause and
effect process. (Karma). So it is up to individuals to lift ourselves
above the quagmire of social ills that are a blight upon our society and
our nation, and collectively, and in group action, be pro-active in
making worthwhile changes. The networking process is a good support
Compiled by Eddie Romano.