A new concept: taking responsibility
America is in a mess.
And as a whole, everyone else is to blame. It’s the fault of the president, Congress, Right-Wingers, Left Wingers, Republicans, Democrats, Christians, Muslims, blacks, whites, immigrants, corporate America, unions, the Tea Party, Libertarians … pick your enemy.
We use broad strokes to point out the evils of any thought but our own. Too often we defend our actions with excuses. It’s not our fault, society or someone or something is to blame.
We need to narrow the focus on what ails America. A single incident that happened recently in the state of New York highlights one of the root causes plaguing this nation. And it is simply this: individuals, more and more, are refusing to take responsibility for their actions.
Bear with us as we give a little background. Brian Holloway is a former NFL player, three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XX member. He lives in Florida, but has a second home in New York state. Over the Labor Day weekend, some kids decided to throw a party. They decided to use Holloway’s New York home as the spot since he was away. Word quickly spread through social media and it is now estimated about 300 kids - high schoolers and college students - showed up. There was a lot of illegal drugs, there was a lot of underage drinking. And after they finally ran off as the police arrived, they boasted about the destruction and good times had by all on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds.
Yes destruction. Right now the estimate is in the $20,000 range, according to Holloway himself. And then Holloway did something unique. He turned the tables on the uninvited guests. He started finding their social media accounts and created a website where he is posting photos taken at his home, as well as various messages the kids posted prior to and after the party. So far, he’s identified more than 100.
His website is called “Help Me Save 300,” (http://helpmesave300.com). And that’s exactly what he’s trying to do. He is not acting out in vengeance, but rather with a sincere desire to help what he sees as troubled kids whose actions will only lead to their own destruction.
“Would it be possible to have a group of parents and community members join with these students and the DARE program and MADD program to send another urgent message about the dangers of drinking, drugs, crime and violence?,” he wrote on his website. “That would probably save lives.
“Could it be possible to turn this moment into a movement? Where the 300 students; with a new commitment, to a bigger future actually became ambassadors to reach 3000 or maybe 30,000 other students?,” he wrote elsewhere. “That would save a lot of lives.”
In his core, Holloway said he is trying to get these kids to take responsibility for their actions. It’s not working.
Holloway held a picnic for veterans at the home soon after the party. He invited the kids and their parents to come and help cleanup.
"I expected 100 parents to show. Only one showed up," he told ABC News.
It gets worse:
“But rather than apologize to Holloway for their children's behavior, some parents have contacted their lawyers to see what legal action they can take against the former Patriots and Raiders offensive lineman, local affiliate ABC News 10 reported
"Parents have threatened me," Holloway, a three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XX veteran, told ABC News. "Your kids are in my house breaking and stealing my stuff and you are mad at me because I posted pictures that they took and posted themselves of them partying and tearing things up?"
You read that correctly. Parents are figuring out how to sue Holloway because he posted their precious snowflakes’ own photos of them partying and destroying his house.
We would like to think this incident is just an aberration. But is it really? To date, Holloway has not pressed charges. He is focusing on saving the 300. He has set an amazing example.
It’s one we should take to heart. Let’s stop the finger pointing and blaming everyone and everything else. Let’s take responsibility for our own actions. And that will do as much as anything to fix the mess our country faces now.
But it’s going to have to start with the parents.