Let’s stop blam­ing oth­ers

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - PETER DORNAUF

It’s al­ways some­one else’s fault, isn’t it? Be­have badly and it’s some­one else to blame. It’s CYF’s fault, it’s Corrections’ fault, and best of all, it’s the colonis­ers’ fault.

When­ever is it go­ing to be the fault of the peo­ple who per­pe­trate the crimes and the ap­palling be­hav­iour? We live in an age, par­tic­u­larly in this coun­try, of pass­ing the buck, of dodg­ing per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity, of look­ing to blame any­one but one­self for ev­ery­thing from re­cidi­vist crim­i­nal be­hav­iour to child abuse and ne­glect.

Of­fload­ing the blame on to some gov­ern­ment depart­ment has be­come par for the course in these is­lands. Chil­dren liv­ing in ab­so­lute squalor, dog shit cov­er­ing the car­pet: oh, it’s CYF’s fault. Maori crim­i­nal stats and re­of­fend­ing sky high: oh, it’s Corrections’ fault.

When are peo­ple go­ing to grow some balls in this coun­try, ac­cept per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity and front up to their own cul­pa­bil­ity?

Look­ing for ex­cuses and pro­vid­ing them has be­come a fine art in New Zealand. The re­cent clas­sic case must be the mur­der­ers of Moko.

Not content with hid­ing be­hind a man­slaugh­ter charge these peo­ple now have the ef­fron­tery to ap­peal their con­vic­tion. T

Such moral vacu­ity is ex­em­pli­fied in the re­cent pro­posal of of­fer­ing mon­e­tary bribes as an in­cen­tive for peo­ple to re­port child abuse cases. That au­thor­i­ties feel the need to stoop so low is an ap­palling eth­i­cal in­dict­ment on things as they stand in this coun­try. While one ap­pre­ci­ates the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind such a move, the thing in it­self is a shock­ing commentary the level of moral bank­ruptcy that ex­ists in cer­tain sec­tions of the com­mu­nity here.

The fact is, some peo­ple seem not to know how to be­have as civilised hu­man be­ings and pro­vid­ing them with ex­cuses and outs is not help­ing.

The ma­jor­ity of well-balanced New Zealan­ders fall in the middle part of the spec­trum – Maori, Pakeha, Pa­cific Is­landers, Asian, In­dian, Middle Eastern.

They take per­sonal own­er­ship of their lives, ma­ture and self­con­trolled enough to op­er­ate re­spon­si­bly. And they don’t look to blame oth­ers if they hap­pen to fall short of the mark.

But here’s a cu­ri­ous irony. Per­haps the un­der-con­trolled ones who lack their own in­ner re­sources, un­able to han­dle the world of in­di­vid­u­al­ism, need the au­thor­i­tar­ian and fas­cist con­trol of a Glo­ri­avale-like com­mune, liv­ing in­side a kind of pre-modern tribal unit where not only rigid hi­er­ar­chi­cal struc­tures op­er­ate, but strict taboos are en­forced and over­laid with the fear of di­vine re­tri­bu­tions.

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