The Blame Game: Why Gen-Y Refuses To Take Responsibility For Its Actions

by Paul Hudson

Laziness is the lack of eagerness to move. For the longest time, I have believed that people fail to accomplish goals simply because they are lazy. Although I still believe this to be true, I have come to conclude that laziness alone isn’t the killer of dreams, but also our aversion to responsibilities. I have come to believe that people not only don’t feel like doing things, but they are also afraid of the responsibilities that accompany their actions.

When we do something, we are, in a strong sense, responsible for the outcomes of our actions. The more I think about it, the more I come to reason that people spend the majority of their lives looking for ways to avoid responsibility, to avoid being bothered and to avoid having blame placed on them for their misfortune or mistakes. Examples of our aversion can be spotted throughout our lives and in the philosophies we adapt.

When we fail, we genuinely blame no one but ourselves.

When we fail, we may point the finger at other factors, or other people and we may make excuses -- in fact, we do it all the time. It’s a way of keeping our egos intact. However, we aren’t complete idiots; we can only fool ourselves to such lengths. Deep down, I believe we are fully aware of our failures and subconsciously place the responsibility on ourselves. This is why, even after people divert their own blame and responsibility onto someone or something else, they refrain from making further attempts.

The fact is that we don’t all learn quickly from our mistakes and often do our best to forget we made the mistakes in the first place -- or flat-out pretend we aren’t responsible for what transpired from those mistakes. What we are then left with is this fake façade being held up by the ugly truth that is slowly eating away at us. We then avoid further failure by disguising it with laziness or lack of interest.

We don’t want to be responsible for our own failures -- no one does -- but there are only so many times you can place the blame on others before you have no choice but to take responsibility for yourself. Taking responsibility for successes is one thing, but no one wants to be a failure.

Substance abuse is freedom from responsibility.

Why do people drink? Why do they do drugs? They want to relieve stress, let loose and be taken away by the current of life. They don’t want to think about their responsibilities, all the things they still have to do and all the things from their past still weighing down on their minds.

The one thing people are unquestionably responsible for is their very own lives. Still, we don’t want to feel the weight of that responsibility. We want to feel light and free. We want to feel as if we exist naked and bare, without baggage. That’s what responsibilities feel like to us: baggage.

Drugs allow us to put down the bags and just be. The unhappier a person is, the more likely that person is to want to distance him or herself from the responsibilities of life -- past, future and present. The problem is that drugs and alcohol are addictive -- both physically and mentally -- and can only further our problems and increase the number of our future responsibilities. You don’t just turn clean in the blink of an eye; you’re responsible for getting back on your own feet.

Faith, in large part, was created to alleviate our responsibility.

Your faith is your decision and I don’t have any urge to steer you from your beliefs. But, it is important to understand exactly what having faith -- in whatever or whomever -- does for us. While many people see faith as a moral compass, which in many cases it is, it’s also a way for us to transfer our responsibility. If we believe in our faith or religion, then we, in a sense, are no longer fully responsible for our lives. G-d has a plan for us all, right?

If we are good people and bad things happen to us, then we should only strengthen our faith and believe that our higher power will save us. If our lives aren’t saved, and we suffer and die, then we will be rewarded in our afterlife. We will go to heaven and we will be happy then, so let’s not worry about our conditions now.

Then we have our sins. We understand that sinning is bad, but thankfully, we can always confess those sins and be absolved of them. Literally, no matter what we do -- steal, lie, cheat or kill -- if we repent dutifully, then we our sins are washed away and with them, our responsibility for our actions. I mean, sure, we may still be held responsible by the law, or by individuals, but mentally, we feel as if we have been freed from our mistakes. That is the point of religion, no?

Again, I’m not saying that religion and faith do not have their benefits. In fact, this can be argued as one of them and it clearly has been the catalyst for much good. Nevertheless, religion is just another way for us to transfer our responsibility onto someone else.

Photo credit: Recklessly Lost Tumblr