Blessed readers: you’re going to have to allow me a soapbox moment. I’m up here, I have an opinion, and this is my blog, so I’ll write it if I want to. (Yes, you can hum “It’s My Party” if you’d like.)
A while back my sweet writer-friend Jill Kemerer posted about TV shows that you just can’t look away from. Hey, Jill, I found mine! The other night I happened to be flipping through channels, unable to sleep, and my eyes locked onto Hoarders: Buried Alive.
If you’ve seen one second of this show, you know that every episode is pretty much the same. I’ve seen bits of the show once or twice before, but the other night, I simply could not look away.
The episode focused on a woman from N.C. who had two teenaged children. And her house looked like a tornado had blown through a dump and dropped it on top of all of them.
Trash. Everywhere. Bugs. Infested. Unlivable. Unsanitary. Disgusting.
Imagine the filthiest house you’ve ever seen then multiply it by one million and it still won’t be as gross as this house was.
On other episodes of this show the people who hoard have a problem with stuff. Stuff. Yeah, their places might be dirty, but mostly it’s a clutter and organization problem.
But this house was cluttered not with stuff, but with trash. Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. They called her a trash hoarder.
Are you kidding me?
It begs the question, when does hoarding become an excuse for laziness?
I got furious. Her house was nasty because she and her two grown children were too lazy to clean it up.
I’m not saying that hoarding doesn’t exist. Maybe it does. I can imagine some people have a very difficult time throwing out things because they attach memories and emotions to them. I can understand that every time I clean out my closet.
But I guarantee you, that was not this woman’s problem. Their stuff was fine. It was the trash, the bugs, and the filth that were the problem.
Her laziness was a reflection of something we’ve lost in our present society–the ability to accept personal responsibility for our actions, words, and thoughts.
Take a second to imagine what the world would be like if we’d all take a hard look in the mirror and say, “Yep, I messed up. It’s no one’s fault but my own.” And after that, imagine if we went out and tried to make our mistakes right! Gasp!
But we don’t do that. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we don’t have to accept responsibility for anything. Remember the famous court case of the lady who spilled hot coffee in her own lap while driving but she sued McDonald’s for selling her the hot coffee?
We blame our parents, our upbringing, “the man”, disease, the government, God, our teachers, our friends, lack of money, people who have more than we do, and anything and everything that might give us any reason NOT to look in the mirror and realize that we have no one else to blame.
Now, I’m not saying that there are never times when extenuating circumstances are a factor in what happens with us and to us. But seriously, people, are we really going to believe that not cleaning your house out of sheer laziness is a disease?
Why not take a look in the Good Book for what it says about personal responsibility? Believe it or not, it says a lot.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 2 Corinth 5:10
That’s just one of the many, many verses where God reminds us of the right way to live because we are in Christ. This includes taking care of ourselves and the ones that we love. Here are a ton more verses.
If we were willing to accept personal responsibility, we could change the world. Really.
We want it life to be easy. We expect it to be. But that’s a lie straight from the pits of hell. There’s no pill for personal responsibility. It’s hard sometimes. And it’s often ugly.
And in the case that you are reading this thinking, “Man, she sounds seriously judgmental,” that’s not my intent at all. In no way am I judging anyone’s heart or their relationship with and to the God of the Universe. I’m not perfect. I find myself looking for excuses for my own screw ups, too. Yet most of the time, there’s no one to blame but me. And I’m not afraid to call myself out on my own mistakes. If I’m going to gripe about a lack of personal responsibility, I sure better make sure I’m trying my best to have some.
As my grandmother used to say, “We can’t judge, but we can certainly inspect the fruit.”
Share with me: What issues get you fired up and on your soap box?