October 25, 2008

October 25, 2008
Personal Responsibility

Personal Responsibility. It is a term you have heard a lot during this presidential election. But what does the term mean to you?

I can only speak for myself. I learned about personal responsibility from my mother and father. I was taught to always do my best job the first time, watch out for others and to help those less fortunate. So personal responsibility to some means other things.

I have heard personal responsibility referred to as the duty of men and women to make sure they can be self sufficient without ever needing any assistance from the government they pay tax to each year.

I have also heard it means those less fortunate were just dealt a bad life and should learn how to deal with it. Now this was said by a pro life person. If you make a poor woman have a baby without any public assistance, what type of life have you doomed the child?

Then I heard if you are a retired person and illness wiped out your finances then guess you better find a public nursing home and hope you are treated well. Senior service programs would not be there. But you should have been more personally responsible.

Now I could never bring myself to treat people that way. In the religious, military, civil service house I grew up that sort of behavior would not have been tolerated. I can not count the number of times my church family came to the rescue of Pensacola citizens in need back in the 60s and 70s when I was living there.

I am a member of a community which had to take care of itself from the very beginning. People with HIV and AIDS were treated like lepers from the very start. Then media and religitious rhetoric downgraded us to the fury of God. Luckily there are now funds to help financially challenged American men, women and children with HIV and AIDS or most would not be able to afford the expensive life saving medications.

Unfortunately, financially challenged men and women with HIV and AIDS need help with the high cost of the life saving medications have been put on ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program) waiting lists. Guess they were another group who should have been more personally responsible.

So to me, personal responsibility means while being responsible for my actions and life that I also care about those less fortunate. Since in life we are truly all connected in one way or another, my helping one person in returns helps me in shape way, shape or form.

I have a responsibility to learn as much as I can about my illnesses to provide myself with the best health care I can find. I have a responsibility to pay my bills and not take on debt I can not afford. I have a responsibility to treat others the way I would want to be treated.

I am afraid in this age of pursuing the American dream of the huge home, new cars, fancy trips, clothing, jewelry and living on credit; we forgot the things in life that really make a person and/or family happy.

What does that mean for you? For me, it is spending time with someone special doing something I enjoy doing. I would rather have a great time with a friend at a park than a bad time in Europe knowing I could not afford to pay for the bill when it comes in.

Hopefully, some change will happen soon in our country. Whether initiated by our new president or by the people themselves. Where the average American matters since does not our own Constitution grant us the pursuit of life, health and liberty?

Heading the way status quo as we have been would only end up getting us further down a dark alley.

I hope you are having a great weekend. I am still running a high fever and taking my antibiotics but hope to be up and doing something soon I hope. But stayed close to home today.

I hope you have a safe and great weekend.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab