I wrote this post when I was annoyed. I’m not annoyed now, but when I read it back, I found not just the rantings of someone who’d had a bad day at work, but there is truth in here about taking responsibility for ourselves, our actions, and the effect we have on others.
When are people going to take responsibility for their actions?
It’s an annoying trend and I keep seeing it lately. This whole “it wasn’t my fault mentality, or the idea that others have to be accommodating and understanding with no thought for how they have been wronged or inconvenienced.
Everyone’s focussed on their own needs, demands, entitlements, and what’s fair for them, without thinking of how that impacts on others.
Take the potential student who didn’t turn up for an appointment because they were apparently in hospital. But I didn’t know that – I just got a message asking for a new appointment. No apology. No explanation. When I pointed out that this was unhelpful because I’d wasted time waiting around for someone who was never going to show up, I was apparently the one with the problem! I should have understood that he was in hospital and obviously other teachers would be far nicer and therefore far better to work with. My mind-reading skills must have failed me.
I see it everywhere. The person who flings open the passenger door without looking to see if anyone is walking past. “I’m in a hurry!” Like that makes it ok for the person who’s nearly just been smacked with a door.
The person who doesn’t pick up after their dog. It doesn’t matter about the next person who gets poo on their shoes, or the child who gets covered in it. For the record, I am blind and I could feel wen my dog was emptying, so I knew where the dog mess would be, and I did clear up after my dog! Ok it’s harder when the dog is off the lead, but on the lead there’s no excuse, including for blind people (because I’ve heard this can’t see it, don’t need to worry about it excuse too!)
Or pushchairs. I’ve had people pushing them straight at me, expecting the lady with the guide dog to go out in the busy road, rather than negotiate a way that we could both pass and both be safe. “Have Pushchair, will dominate the pavement. Lady with the guide dog will just have to deal with it.”
And the people who shove things back anywhere on the supermarket shelves, even in the wrong department, because “It’s the shop assistant’s job to put it back. Not my problem, I’m not buying it.”
And the lazy people who use the disabled toilets because the queue is shorter, making people who really need them wait with no other options. “But there’s a massive queue and I’d have to walk a whole extra 5 metres! Life’s so hard!”
And the people who stop suddenly in the middle of rush hour on the steps up from the station “because I just got a text. Never mind about all the people behind them and the person who nearly walked into them. Because the text was, you know, sooo important and the rest of the people in the station clearly weren’t!
Or the person who changes lane at the last minute, nearly causing an accident, who then thinks everyone else has the problem? They don’t care about all the people who had to brake quickly and who could have been in a multi-vehicle pile-up. No, the main thing is that they got into the right lane and won’t be late for whatever important thing they were driving to.
Or the person who gives the waiter a hard time because the spicy curry that they ordered was … er … spicy!
Why is it so hard to say “I made a mistake?” Or “This may not have been all my fault, but I take responsibility for my part in it”. Would that really be so hard.
It seems we’re so quick to look for reasons or excuses –
I was having a bad day
I was busy
I was tired
It’s the wrong time of the month
I’ve got a lot on my plate
You don’t understand
Life’s not fair.
These things may all be true, but at the end of the day, if we bite someone’s head off/upset someone/inconvenience someone/are inconsiderate to someone – for the love of all that is good, can we not just own it and see it for what it is, instead of looking for ways to avoid all blame and make it someone else’s fault or problem?
Because the world would be a much nicer place if we could!
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