You can look at the title and assume that it’s going to be a lecture about how you need to be more responsible, but it’s not. Sure I can talk about the virtues of personal responsibility, the more I can do for myself, the less I am dependent on other people. The less dependent I am on other people, the less control they have over my life. It is a wonderful thing and it’s what I choose for myself. But that’s not what this is about, at least not today. I will ask you to show off your open mind and intelligence and follow through to the end. Simply answer some of the questions.
What I don’t understand is, why I’m responsible for you? Do I get to make your decisions for you? When you have sex and you either get pregnant or get a girl pregnant, what does that have to do with me? Why should I pay for your child that I had nothing to do with? And if you really think it’s a shared responsibility, then try this, pay your fair share. I mean, really pay. Every single time you see a parent with their child, reach in your pocket and give them a quarter for each one of their children. After all, raising children is everybody’s responsibility, right? Or is it just everybody’s responsibility to help pay for it, except for you?
I know this is confusing, but if I have a child, I don’t expect everybody else to pay for the upbringing of that child. My child would be My Responsibility. In fact, I don’t want you to pay for my child, nor would I want you to pay for my child. In fact, feeding that child is my responsibility, not yours or anybody else.
I know this is a difficult mindset for many people to understand. I don’t want something that I didn’t earn. I don’t want to spend my life waiting for other people to give to me. I don’t want to spend my life wasting time searching for freebies. To borrow a line from Rob Halford,”Out there is a fortune waiting to be had, if you think I’ll let it go, you’re mad”. If you wait at the table of life waiting for the freebies, you’re going to get what the dogs get, table scraps. Without great risks, there are no great rewards. Fortune favors the bold, but for so many of you, I just wasted space.
But while I still have your attention, I’d rather you to ask yourself that very question. Why are you responsible for the decisions that a smoker makes? And should you just pay for their cigarettes, or should you just pay for their cancer? I know, you’re not rich and they should pay. I am not rich either, but let’s just pretend that you are rich and I’m not. In fact, let’s pretend the following circumstance.
I don’t have health insurance because I smoke and tobacco use made my premiums higher so I chose to spend money on cigarettes instead of health insurance. I get cancer, you should pay for it right? After all, you’re rich. But wait, here’s the great news, if I get cancer, I can just buy insurance now. No denying me for that pre-existing condition.
Still, shouldn’t you help pay for it because you’re rich? Good, we’re on the same page. Now, there’s a woman who just had her fifth baby by the fourth different guy. All those mouths to feed. Of course you should pay for it, even though you never had sex with her. And that guy smoking crack, you need to help him out right? Think of it, you’re rich, you can help everybody out that needs it, after all, $1,000 to you is like a penny to the rest of us. So here is what you do, act like you are a rich person. Do this exercise.
When you cash your next pay check, ask for it all in pennies. Take approximately half out for local, state, federal, and medicare taxes. With your remaining pennies go down to the welfare office and give each person there 1 penny each. Don’t forget the employees there, 3 pennies each. After you’re down there, got to the unemployment line and give each person 1 penny. Now, on to each school and give 1 penny to each student who gets a free lunch. Don’t forget to pay the teachers, give them as many pennies as you think they rich should pay each teacher. Now, on to the farmers who need subsidies and we’ll give each farmer… 2 pennies each. No, let’s give them more, after all, it’s food man, food for starving children man. Now go down to city hall and give 1 penny for each street in your neighborhood. Don’t forget to give extra pennies for… wait, are you beginning to see how this is adding up and eating away your budget?
Let’s try another exercise. Still pretending your are rich, actually, forget the money, just think of yourself as a human being, no greater, no lesser than any person in this country. Why are you responsible for the choices that other people make? If they choose to get a job, or if they choose to go to college, or the military, or to just stay at momma’s house and go to the bar on the weekends? Why are you responsible for their decisions? Are you going to share in their rewards and help pay for their failures? And if you’re responsible for their decisions, aren’t they then equally responsible for your choices?
And if I’m responsible for your choices, just as you think I’m responsible for other people’s choices, then don’t I get to have more say in the choices you make, especially since you expect me to pay for them? Wouldn’t you expect that right if you had to pay for other people’s failures?