Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Everyone Else is Getting Bailed Out...

I've seen a commercial on television a couple times recently that provokes a sense of irritation inside me.

It's an advertisement by a lawyer, who is trying to sell her services - I believe she helps people settle problems with the IRS. That, in and of itself, is a fine and virtuous undertaking. I have no quarrel with that part of her presentation.

There comes a moment, however, when she uses this line:

"Everyone else is getting bailed out.... why not you?"

Each time I hear it, the hair on the back of my neck stands on end. I find it such an obvious symptom of so many things that are wrong in our world today.

There was a time when getting 'bailed out' had a very negative connotation. It implied getting yourself into some sort of trouble, usually not an innocent accident, and requiring someone else to 'make it right' and 'clean up your mess.' For many of us, it still has that meaning.

There is certainly nothing wrong with needing or accepting assistance from others. That is part of the human experience. To feel entitled, however, to having someone else clean up a mess that you yourself created, is troublesome to me.

Personal responsibility for one's decisions, actions and life is part of being a healthy and well adjusted adult. Expecting someone else to take care of the problems you create is a cop out.

We all make mistakes and we all get into messes. That too is part of the human experience. We have the opportunity to learn lessons and do things differently in the future. The best chance of this happening is when we face our self created circumstances, accept responsibility, clean up the mess and move on to a different and brighter future!

Let's not be looking for someone else to 'bail us out' no matter how many other people are taking that route! Just because other people (or organizations) are taking that path, doesn't mean it is healthy or constructive!

Awareness and self responsibility are the path to freedom. When we clean up our own mistakes, we are much less likely to make the same mistake in the future. Any parent knows this is a valuable way to learn.

Here's to Self Awareness and Self Responsibility!