One of the signs of maturity is the ability to accept responsibility for one’s actions. A mature person is able to say, “I did that” while a person lacking maturity tries to shift the blame.
We live in a culture that is glad to hand-off responsibility to someone else.
Parents may be quick to blame what’s on television for the attitude of their children. Does it contribute? Absolutely. Is television the only responsible party? Probably not. You also have the influence of peers. And the influence of parents, who — contrary to opinion — are still very influential in the lives of their children.
In doing marriage counseling I often hear, “If only she would …” Or, “It’s because he always …” Rarely do I hear someone say, “I’m the person responsible for the conflict we’re having.”
Employees would be more effective if it weren’t for their bosses. Bosses would have more productive departments if it weren’t their employees.
We shift the blame. We avoid responsibility. Not everyone, not every time — but we all do it at times.
Perhaps it’s instinctive to look outside of ourselves for where the responsibility lies. Perhaps the transformative work of God is to help us overcome what is instinctive.