Letter to the Editor

Your View: Who is to blame?

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The American society is on a downward spiral crash course. When did we begin to ignore one of the best gifts God gave us? Does anyone remember what I'm talking about? It's free will! One of the most precious options of human nature is free will. In case the lack of society's acknowledgement has caused a delay in understanding the meaning, free will is the choice we make for an action to be performed.

Nowadays our society places blame for an event on each and every individual they can instead of the human being who acted on his/her own free will. I've noticed this over time, but it has been appearing more frequently in the news and I can't bite my tongue anymore. Let's go over some of these instances, shall we?

Let's talk about the report made on the 19-year-old student of Southern Illinois University who drowned while attending a fraternity camping trip. I'll first say that I am deeply sorry for the loss the family of this young man has endured - I can't imagine the pain and heartache they feel. However, going to the school with a lawsuit, then the local fraternity with a lawsuit and possibly individuals within that fraternity all with lawsuits is not the correct path of action. First, the young man is 19, which is an adult. Were there marks around the boy's wrists and ankles showing the boy was tied up, or tape marks around his mouth? No. Therefore, it would be logical to say he was not forced to go on the trip. He did it by free will. I understand alcohol was involved. Was the young man forced to drink alcohol, then forced into a canoe to go out onto the river? Logically, the boy drank (illegally), got in the boat for a ride and was too drunk to maneuver well. All of these actions were of his own free will. So, why blame others for this young man's decisions. It's a loss that didn't have to happen, but who is really to blame here - peer pressure or the person who did these things to his own body, by his own choice and made bad decisions? Why blame the school? Attention, parents: College students are adults and are responsible for making their own decisions. SIU is not a babysitting atmosphere. It's for adults who are furthering their education.

Another situation is a story about a 9-year-old girl who stole a rabbit (KFVS-12) around Easter). Now this little girl acknowledged knowing the difference between right and wrong and that stealing was wrong, yet she took the rabbit. She was then put into the police car and had handcuffs on. Her mother is irate with the police for doing that to her daughter and wants to sue. However, what is said is that the woman was not irate at her daughter for stealing. What kind of example is that setting for her daughter?

The underlying problem will be that this child is starting out at an early age of not paying for the consequences of her own wrong actions (free will). Think about what type of problem this girl could turn out to be as a teen-ager because she isn't punished at this age to hopefully correct the problem. It's a scary thought.

These are just two little examples of how we have abandoned the whole aspect of free will and instead place blame on anyone but the true individual responsible. It is so easy for our society to push blame onto others. It's time for the American society to stop taking the easy way out and instead, take responsibility for our actions, our choices, our use of one of the most precious gifts from God - free will!

Name withheld by request