I recently saw a picture of a boy who had been running through his house with a fork and somehow tripped and got it stuck in his nose. Perhaps you've seen the photo yourself on the Internet. It looked pretty painful, funny but painful. It occurred to me this is how changes begin to be implemented in our society. I'm sure this incident resulted in a costly hospital bill to have the fork surgically removed from the boy's nose, along with some plastic surgery, and in order to avoid a costly medical bill, the family will inevitably try to sue someone, such as the manufacturer of the fork. If successful, we will probably see some legislation emerge requiring fork manufacturers to change the design and create a "safety fork," imprint a safety warning on all forks, e.g.; "Warning! Use of this fork may be hazardous to your health," and there will probably be a recall on all existing forks. All this, because the parents were too stupid to supervise a five year old.
In reality, the parents and child are obviously at fault here. Either the parents didn't teach the child properly, which would be my guess, or the child was just plain thick and needed to learn the lesson the hard way. Instead, someone else will have to pay for this little snafu and take a great tool like the fork and make it illegal. Suddenly, it's not the parents fault, it is yours. We have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of such frivolous lawsuits over the years, such as the infamous McDonald's hot coffee case.
I don't know where this propensity for being portrayed as a victim comes from, but I have my suspicions, namely those who do not assume responsibility for their actions and prefer to be wards of the state, whereby someone else picks up the bill every time the person screws up. I fail to see the logic in this.
"But Tim, have you no compassion for the suffering of these poor souls?"
I have plenty of compassion, a whole truckload of it, but I'll donate my money to those I believe deserve it, not to some misfits who are forcing me to pay for the problems they created. Where I come from, that's called "bunco."
If you live in a capitalist society, as we do, you are required to assume responsibility for your actions and demonstrate a little personal initiative. Sure, we should help those less fortunate than ourselves, but this should be voluntary as opposed to mandatory. Unfortunately, there is a movement underfoot in this country to change all of this which would negate the need to be responsible. However, if everybody gets on the dole, I'm just wondering who is going to pay the bills? You know what, it won't work.
Next time you think your problems are caused by someone else, look in the mirror first.
Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.