Friday, June 29, 2007

What Happened to Responsibility?

It's not new, I know. But I can't help but wonder what has happened to responsibility. Everything is someone else's fault, or job. You don't have to work for your money, someone will give it to you. You don't have to be a good parent, someone else will clean up your mess.

What are we teaching people?

It struck me the other day that we are teaching people to be dumb. I heard a commercial for one of those GPS devices in your car that gives you directions yesterday. Don't even worry about learning which way is north, or reading a map. Just tell the magic box where you want to go and it will give you directions. They have that "On-Star" thing in cars. If you can't remember when to change your oil, they will tell you. Lock your keys inside, they will unlock it.

Involved in an auto accident? They will call police and give them your location, you don't even have to know where you are!

What ever happened to taking care of yourself?

Mr Fixit


Sevesteen said...

I carry a firearm to help me take care of myself. I keep a GPS in the car to help me take care of myself. I carry a mobile phone, a multitool and various other things to help me take care of myself.

The gun does not relieve me of the duty to be aware of my surroundings and avoid trouble, but it prepares me to deal with certain unexpected situations. Likewise the other tools.

The GPS is not only a convenience, but it has acted to potentially avoid the need to use my gun. On a recent trip through Detroit, a section of I-75 was closed, with a poorly marked detour through a bad neighborhood. The GPS got me to civilization with a minimum of time and drama, and no need to stop and look at a map.

Mr. Fixit said...

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the use of tools! As long as we recognize that they are tools.

What bothers me is the people, like a female I am related to (not my wife), who banks on haveing those tools to do her work for her. She is ignorant of how to take care of herself (read a map, know directions, have emergency numbers, be aware of location)and proud of her ignorance. If her tools fail, she is up a creek without a paddle so to speak.

Tools are great, as long as we can make do without them if need be.

BobG said...

Reminds me of when my wife taught an accounting class at a college for while. She was giving the students a list of figures to work, and noticed one girl just sitting. When she asked why the girl said she didn't have her calculator. She got very puzzled when my wife handed her a pencil to use.

Chris in SE TX said...

At some point the old fashioned ways of doing things become just that, old. We don't know how to make things out of iron anymore. We don't know how to tan our own leather. I think relying too early on the new tools or technology is bad, but at some point, insisting on knowing how to do things the old way is stupid. For example, I don't know how to use a slide rule, don't care to know, and I don't think I would gain anything by knowing. Sure, a slide rule works without batteries and is immune to an EMP, but so what?

OTOH, relying on a GPS to the point where you're helpless without is not good, the technology is not perfect.

Having ALL your phone numbers in your cell phone is convenient, but it kind of leaves you screwed if you loose it.... (OK, I'm guilty of that one, BUT I have them backed up on TWO separate computers, too)

Bottom line is, new technology is always controversial, especially across the generation gaps....