Last night, I read in the current issue of The Week, that a man serving time in a Connecticut prison for vehicular manslaughter of a 14-year old boy is suing the child's parents for contributory negligence as the child hadn't been wearing a helmet while he was riding his bike. Of course, the fact that the driver was going 80 mph at the time had 'nothing' to do with the child's death.
A dear friend of ours lost his leg some years back in an explosion at the plant where he worked. He decided not to sue because he felt strongly that 'stuff happens'. The plant had not been negligent, he said, and he realized that he could have been sitting on Easy Street for the rest of his life, but to place blame was just wrong. The employer had met their responsibilities in taking care of his medical bills.
While not exactly polar in the scheme of things, I thought these two incidents somewhat related. So at what point do we place blame and at what point do we accept responsibility for our actions? Our society heavily espouses the "it wasn't my fault because...." (fill in the appropriate excuse: I was poor as a child, my parents abused me, I always felt like an outcast, my wife had just left me, et cetera) theory. But it seems to me that doing so negates any responsibility. It's like saying "I'm sorry, but..." which isn't an apology at all.
- I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.