Everything Bremerton: Personal Responsibility

I follow a lot of local news. Every day, several times a day, I am logging on and checking in or picking up a local printed publication to read. Stories that catch my attention can be random in their subject matter, something unique and interesting or simply something that hits closer to home, which I can relate to. Many times the comments that follow the online stories themselves can be more entertaining or informational than what was originally reported.

Recently the amount of local stories about driving and crashes has me thinking a little more about what it really means to get behind the wheel and the culture of blame that seems to follow many of these incidents when things go wrong.

Driving is a privilege. It is not something we should ever become complacent with. Our moving car is not our office where we make calls and shuffle paperwork while we navigate traffic. They are not our bathroom or vanity where we fluff our hair and apply our makeup while rolling up in line at a red light. Moving cars are not a dining room for the driver to consume a three course meal. They are not a daycare where toys are thrown about the vehicle and discipline is handed down at 35 mph. The driver's lap is not ever a designated pet carrier.  We all face consequences when we get behind the wheel. We have willingly placed ourselves there, every single time, even knowing the odds and the risks. Consequences come with the decision to drive that at times are directly our fault and at other times can be completely out of our control, yet problems and challenges are still going to happen and we all still have to face the outcome and ramifications head-on.

I really do not like the word accident. Nothing is accidental. Life is a constant series of results that come from a million different decisions we make every single day. The final outcomes of these choices and decisions can be good, enjoyable and fun. They can also have very negative consequences that hurt other people and affect the lives of others.

Blame is something that is shifted to others when honest self-assessment is not fully applied and saving face becomes more important than admitting to a certain amount of personal failure.

The best thing and hardest thing to do when something goes wrong, is to suck it all the way up, take the heat as it comes, accept your portion of the blame and learn a lesson from it all.

Next time you get in your car, take a minute to really think about your routine. What are you doing in your car and what are you doing with your car that makes you more vulnerable out on the road and puts others at risk? Think about it.


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