Whatever Happened to Personal Responsibility?

We have all seen the video of the woman that walked into a fountain at the mall because she was too busy texting to notice where she was.  Now, she is ready to sue over it because the video is out online for the world to see.

It amazes me that this is even still being talked about at all.  If it were me, I doubt very seriously that I would have come forward to begin with to own up to the idea that it was me.  Even still, to get upset enough to sue someone over it is pushing it.  Whatever happened to taking ownership of what you do?

The cases that show up in court sometimes are laughable at best.  The person that got McDonalds to pay up for serving coffee that was so hot it burned them when it spilled on their lap is just one more example of litigation gone wrong.  Like this person expected their hot coffee to be cold.  Now we’re all stuck with cups that state the obvious, “this cup may contain a drink that is extremely hot.”  I should certainly hope so, since I ordered it that way.

If you want a humorous reminder that we should all pay more attention to our surroundings, then the woman walking into the fountain at the mall is it.  Rather than get so alarmed at it that we want to sue, we need to take personal responsibility for our actions.  It’s a lesson that we have lost in the last several years and we really need to learn it again.  Quite simply when you do one thing, it sets in motion something else.  We don’t live and work in a vacuum.  When you do something it affects other people.  When we do something stupid, we need to have enough of a sense of humor to get up, dust ourselves off, or dry ourselves if we fall into a fountain at the mall, and move on with our lives.  This person could have even ridden this to their 15 minutes of fame by going on all the TV morning shows and laughing with the rest of America as they watched themselves do something that none of us would wish upon ourselves.

As a nation, we take ourselves way too seriously and need to lighten up a little bit.  We need to see situations as a learning experience and move ahead from those points.  Above all else, we need to be enough self aware that if a fountain is in the vicinity, we don’t end up accidentally taking a swim.  Any judge worth his or her salt needs to laugh this case out of their courtroom with a reminder to the woman that did this to lighten up and learn to laugh at herself.  It’s a lesson we all need to remember and if we did, how much more pleasant a world would it be?  I can tell you this, we would all have a much better time in it, laughing at ourselves rather than being wound up so tight.