A friend of mine has a tattoo that says, “roots & wings” in reference to the quote, “The two greatest gifts a parent can give their child are roots and wings.” I love this quote. Roots to remember where you came from, to stay grounded, and to always have a safe place to come home to, and wings to be able to fly, dream, achieve, without being held back.
I’d like to add something else to that though. Self-responsibility. By that, I mean the maturity to take responsibility for your self, for your words, for your actions. Being able to say, “I’m sorry” or “I take full responsibility” for whatever it is, is really under-valued in today’s society.
We want to blame others for everything. Addicted to cigarettes? Blame the tobacco companies. In debt over compulsive gambling? Blame the casinos/pokie owners. Killed after jumping off a balcony into a pool and missing said pool? Blame schoolies week. Obese because you’re addicted to fast food? Blame the fast food companies.
When will people say, “I have an addiction. I need help. I need to fix my life.” And stop blaming others for their own shortcomings.
Banning pokie machines, making cigarette packaging plain (are you fucking kidding?), cancelling schoolies, none of this solves the problem – that is that people have addictive personalities and are going to do stupid things no matter what you take away. Unless you are going to take EVERYTHING away and not let people leave their houses, accidents will happen. People will get themselves in to trouble. If it’s not with gambling, it will be with alcohol, or drugs, or something else.
You have a choice, people. Put the cigarette down. Stay away from the casino. Stop going to McDonalds. I am not saying it as easy as that, I know it’s not. But there are people and products out there to help you. Stop blaming everyone else and looking for a quick payout, and do something to change your problem.
I know what it feels like to want someone to pay for what you are going through. To have someone you can point the finger at and say, “It’s your fault!” But ultimately, the responsibility comes back to you, to know what you are putting in your mouth/body, to know that jumping off a God-damn balcony is a dreadful idea. To know that if you’re already $10k in debt with one bookie, you don’t go to another one. When did parents stop teaching that?