I had a conversation with someone recently about personal responsibility.  At the time I thought it was actually a conversation about a wide variety of different subjects, most of them political, but unspecific enough that my fellow conversant could skip easily into discussing personal responsibility when it was time to change the subject.  At one point we were talking about prisons.  It’s a touchy subject.  I said that if he or I had been born in Compton rather than the places we were born, we might both have joined a gang.  It’s the main avenue for smart enterprising young men in that circumstance, so I suppose I was paying us both a compliment.  Gangs are a drain on brain & initiative.  This isn’t a new or interesting point, but it’s true, and I made it.

My conversant said that, at some point, we have to accept personal responsibility.  And that’s true as well.  But neither he nor I are in a gang.  So it seems that neither of us have to accept responsibility for that.  The people who are in gangs do generally accept a wide range of responsibility for being in them.  There are many gang related duties, one of which is staying silent and accepting prison terms.

In similar fashion, personal responsibility always came up in instances where we couldn’t actually accept personal responsibility for the matter being discussed.  My conversant isn’t personally responsible for anything we hit upon.  And that makes sense too.  He’s very rich.