Monday, August 21, 2006

Decisions and Responsibility

For some reason, I feel like ranting about government today, so this may be a little sporadic and difficult to read. Here goes...

Our local political heroes (in Austin, TX) believe, in their infinite wisdom, that dogs should eat at the same restaurant that I do. That bothers me. But that's not what really bothers me. I'm torn about our government trying to ram a bicycle helmet law down our collective throat because a former mayor was in an accident on his bike and it saved his life.

Let me preface this by saying that I ALWAYS ride my bike with a helmet. One time in the past 6 years have I gone for a ride without a helmet. I knew when I left the house that I did not have a helmet on; I made a conscious decision to ride without a helmet and assumed all the risks associated with that action. That is the crux of my point; I made a decision and accepted the responsibility for my actions. We do not expect, or require, the general public to accept enough responsibility for their individual actions.

I thankful for the former mayor's good fortune in wearing a helmet when he went out on a ride and the fact that his helmet saved his life when he was struck by a car. However, this does not give him carte blanche to impose his will on the people. If my next door neighbor Joe wants to ride without a helmet and he is of legal age to make that decision AND he is willing to accept responsibility for his actions, more power to you, Joe! Let the wind flow through your hair!

A word of warning to Joe: When and if you are struck by a car and suffer from a traumatic head or brain injury, it is YOUR responsibility, not mine, to provide for your treatment. This is the risk that you assume when you act in a manner that may be unsafe.

We need to reach an age where people assume responsibility for their own actions and stop relying on the government teet to solve all of our problems. I realize that politicians want us to rely on the them (the government) because this creates job security for them but, at the end of the day, it creates a society of individuals that have limited ability, limited creativity and limited potential.

Cut the cord. Sink or swim. Take a chance and see where that new path takes you. Sometimes it can be fun. It does not take a village to raise a child. It takes parents that are involved in their children's lives.

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