Saturday, July 10, 2010

Where is personal responsibility?

The Center for Science in the Public Interest announced last week that it will file suit against McDonald's if the company does not stop using Happy Meal toys to promote their kids' meals.  The organization likens McDonald's practice to "the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children."

U.S. lawmakers are considering requiring hybrid cars to have synthetic car sounds because the usually quiet cars are endangering cyclists and pedestrians.

Parents complain misbehaving celebrities are poor role models.  The fast food industry gets blamed for the country's obesity epidemic. Schools are doing something wrong if students are not doing well. What ever happened to personal responsibility and accountability?  It seems everyone wants to pass on blame for their own poor choices.

Here are some novel ideas: Say no to your kid when they ask for McDonald's, or go and make a healthy choice from the menu.  Get off the phone, turn down your iPod, look both ways before you cross, and pay attention when you walk on the street.  Use all your senses on the road and don't wait for a revving engine or blaring horn to bring you back to consciousness. Teach your children the importance of education, to respect others, and to make good choices.

We have gone from a society that took responsibility for others beyond ourselves, to a society of people not wanting to accept responsibility even for our own food consumption.  Now I know this argument taken to its extreme could be construed as uncharacteristically un-socialist of me, but I think personal responsibility does not negate government responsibility in matters affecting the public good.  Government agencies are right to encourage the decreased use of trans fats in foods. Consumers are responsible for their portion sizes and should be able to avoid getting hit by a Prius.

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