Friday, March 6, 2009

It's Not My Fault (INMF Syndrome)

I figure this is the largest problem facing America today. When the economy goes south everyone starts pointing fingers. When you sign the dotted line on a loan you can't possibly repay, you blame the mortgage company. When your child is disrespectful (or worse), you blame the music industry. When did we quit accepting any responsibility?

A few days ago, my youngest daughter asked my wife if she ever got in trouble at school (my wife is from Germany). My wife asked her what she meant by trouble. My daughter said, "Well did they have paddling or detention or anything like that in Germany?"

My wife explained to her that in the school she was in, they kept a journal that the teacher could write in. At the end of every week you have to take the journal home and your parents had to sign it. Then, on your Monday return, you had to show that your parent had signed the journal. The journal is where your transgressions and accomplishments were logged.

I asked about lack of parental discipline. How could they allow children in the school who were trouble makers, but had parents that don't care? The thought was so alien, she had trouble coming up with an answer. Finally, she decided it must be because the troublesome kids went to the "other school". In Germany, your 6th grade performance determines whether you go to the school that prepares you for college or "the other school". The kids and the parents are held responsible.

Who is responsible here? It's not the kids. They can't help it if their school sucks. It's not the parents. They can't help it if the schools suck. Maybe it's the music. Maybe it's the government. Who knows? Let's sue someone and if we get lucky they'll give us lots of money and it'll make us feel better about the sorry state of affairs that we were coerced into.

Stop blaming and start thinking of ways that you can make a difference.

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