Have We Abandoned Individual Responsibility?

Treat others as you want to be treated

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Martin Luther King’s speech had many great points, but one of the most important quotes was this:

In the Information Age, it is easy to brush with broad strokes. When a white cop kills a black person, it is easy to judge all white cops or all cops in general with hate and disdain. The media and social media fuel the rage that we feel when injustices happen. When the pastor (minister, priest, etc) of a church has an affair or steals from the congregation, is it not easy for us to blame churches or religion in general for being corrupt or deceitful? When our governors or mayors ask us to wear masks so we don’t spread a virus, do we comply for other’s sake or do we say “screw you, I do what I want!” I get the hate for masks and I recently wrote about it too.

One of the biggest issues that sincerely worries me in today’s society is the lack of individual responsibility. Stop blaming entire categories of people for injustices, wrongdoing, or stupid decisions. Instead, focus on the individual and demand that justice is served. In English class, we called this a hasty generalization.

When a white cop kills a black person, demand justice for that black person. Don’t listen to the noise caused by the media and social media. There is way too much misinformation and hate out there to know what is true and what is false. Listen to or read the facts released and judge for yourself. Be patient and wait for the facts to come out before you judge. I’m not talking about systemic racism and I’m not ignoring it either. I’m also not supporting or damning any recent similar situations. I’m choosing to focus on individual responsibility in this article.

When a pastor commits a horrible sin, judge the pastor and not the church or all churches. Pastors are human too and they fail just like we do. The same applies to any leadership role, even in our government.

Better yet, show restraint when judging others and focus on doing the right thing. The Bible has a fantastic quote for this as well:

The meaning of verses like this have been misquoted and twisted for a long time. It does not mean to treat others like they treat you. What this simply means is to treat others how you want to be treated. If you were suddenly thrust into the media or social media limelight and judged for something that may or may not be true, would you want others to judge you as you so easily judge others with a broad stroke? Of course not! You would want a fair trial and a chance to explain your side of the story. We as a society would be much better off if we treated others how we want to be treated.

Lover and amateur writer of Science Fiction. Occasional writer of inspirational and non-fiction articles. Wishes he could stop speaking in 3rd person.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store