Where has Personal Responsibility Gone?

10 May

Okay, I’m angry. I was on the treadmill this morning reading the NPR Health headlines, and every page had an article related to nutrition.

  • Food deserts and the impact of low availability of and access to nutritious foods in low income neighborhoods
  • the continuing rise in obesity (big surprise) and its influence on soaring health care costs
  • a rant by an author about how some states are banning bake sales because of how unhealthy they can be (I love this, but the author was not happy about it. Oh the places I could go with this.)
  • an article about how mothers of infants who are obese (yes, you read that correctly– INFANTS) misinterpret how fat their babies are, oftentimes rating them as normal or underweight
  • a description of the rising tide of childhood type 2 diabetes and how the typical meds given to adults are ineffective, in addition to how apparently lifestyle interventions don’t work either to relieve the condition

Am I the only one who is freaking livid about how people are choosing not to take care of themselves, much less their freaking children?!

As I was running I thought, “You know what? My health insurance premium is going to go up again. Each year I see it rise. Each year I take better and better care of myself. I’m not paying for MY health care! I’m paying for everyone else’s! I’m paying for the hospital visits of people who have a heart attach because they are among the fastest growing members of the obesity population– the people who are 100 lbs or more overweight! Are you kidding me?!”

At what point do you look down and recognize that you have a responsibility to do something different. It’s not just individual lives that are influenced by each of our decisions. It’s society! It’s time to wake up and look around. Just because 70% of people are overweight doesn’t make it OKAY! What happened to hard work, effort, and responsibility for our own health being the norm? I grew up poor. One parent. One amazing mother who sure, could have done some things different (we call can look back and say, “Wow, I messed that one up!” and we SHOULD!), but who also worked her fingers to the bone, didn’t sleep many nights, but put food on the table (and yes, made sure the meals were as balanced as possible, even if the vegetables came from a freaking can), and showed me what it meant to be self-determined and to not expect things to be handed to me.

Personal Responsibility- how has it disappeared? How do we get it back? Are you implementing a level of accountability in your own life? Getting support from trusted individuals who can help you develop this if it’s lacking?

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5 Responses to “Where has Personal Responsibility Gone?”

  1. Sondra May 10, 2012 at 10:35 AM #

    Bravo Kori. I think that a lot of physicians are so quick to hand out a pill for something that diet and exercise could improve or cure that it has become the easy button for both the doctor and the patient. It encourages the mindset of “continue to eat junk and sit on the couch, we have a pill or a surgery to fix that”

    • kpropst May 11, 2012 at 1:57 PM #

      Totally agree, Sondra. We’re giving people the idea that everything should be easy. We’ve adopted an “I want it and I want it now” mentality. And if people who are in authority and are respected by others are conveying this message, than it becomes the “right” one. But unfortunately, many physicians don’t have the knowledge to be able to make sound recommendations about diet and exercise. That’s where we come in, of course, offering them an alternative to refer their clients to so they can actually learn how to be healthy through their own behaviors and choices. Doctors also make money by asking clients to use the drugs though. Just like schools make money by holding bake sales.

  2. jamikotera May 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM #

    You sound angry, but that is a good thing because this topic makes me angry as well. Having changed careers, I’m now seeing firsthand how insurance rates have skyrocketed and just how many people that is effecting! I live in the wonderful state of NE that recently passed into law that prenatal care for illegal immigrants will be paid! Guess who’s gonna flock to NE for free health care?!? And all on my dime! But I digress from your point – no one takes personal responsiblity anymore – that has been replaced with a sense of entitlement! Eat, drink, partake in whatever you want – you will be taken care of by the responsible ones!!! I’m going to remember this blog the next time someone makes fun of my “clean eating.”

    • kpropst May 11, 2012 at 1:53 PM #

      Jami! Yes, angry…more dismayed that we are where we are. I understand that some individuals cannot afford certain things and have to work twice as hard for others. I get that when you’re just focused on keeping a roof over your head, the energy you have to put toward other important areas of your life just is not as readily available. We only have so many resources. But I’m bombarded daily by examples of entitlement, like you said, and of blaming others for personal problems. one can choose, and many do, to say “it’s the fault of someone else that I’m in this position.” But is it? Is it REALLY? I’ll choose to not play the victim. I’ll choose to work my ass off so I am able to buy some chicken breast instead of a breaded chicken sandwich. I’ll get 4 jobs in order to be able to pay for school so I can learn and increase my marketability so I can acquire a better paying position (I’ve been here!). I will choose not to play the victim and take some personal responsibility for my place in life.

  3. Donloree May 31, 2012 at 8:15 AM #

    YES. That is all. 😀

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