Friday, June 29, 2001

Lack of Personal Responsibility

If a man has been forced to take a crappy job due to poor circumstance, which happens often in our society, he will likely be miserable. Well at least miserable while he's at the job; he might be able to find something to make himself happy and content outside the job, perhaps something to look forward to at the end of the day. What if he doesn't have that, what if there's nothing to look forward to at all in his life and so he feels like he is nothing. People at work treat him poorly: they ridicule him and ignore him. The pain inside himself builds up and he begins to think about striking out against the world he thinks is responsible for his misery. So the man goes into his workplace one day and randomly kills innocent people. This tragic act has happened so many times before,and we almost always hold the man responsible for his crime, and rightly so.

Let me give another example. There's a woman, married for several years who has recently had her fifth child. She feels "depressed" in aftermath of the fifth child's birth and feels like she can't deal with the inconvenience of raising the children she brought into the world. So she decides one day to end these "inconveniences." Does she get up and walk away, leaving them without a mother, but still alive with a loving father? No. That would be too easy. Does she accidentaly get too angry with one of the children and hit him to hard? No, that would also be too easy. She kills each and everyone of her children, one by one. She chases after the last one, dragging him to his death. At the end, all five of her children were killed. She had to make the decision to kill five times. Do we condemn her for what she did? No. We instead we try to justify her actions. We have women coming on, talking about how hard post-partum depression is. How hard being a mother is. They stop just short of saying that they could see themselves doing the same thing. I think the only thing that stops people from saying this is that they worry what their children will think when they read or hear their parent's words. If a father had done this, there would be no explanations demanded. Men are violent, so this should be expected. If a woman does it, then it wasn't her fault. How dare the father force all these children on this poor woman? What else could she have done. Her children weren't responsible for this. Their only crime was loving their mother. They loved a mother who apparently didn't love them back. Law experts expect her to avoid the death sentence, and they also expect her to avoid a life sentence. Many will be happy. Why should she be punished for something she isn't responsible for, right?

The first one is condemned for killing people he didn't know and who didn't care about him

The second one is excused for killing 5 children who loved her.