It’s Not Your Fault!

While watching a late-night movie version of a Tom Clancy novel, I happened to notice that TMC runs commercials every 7 minutes. Being a late-night movie, rates are lower, and you can see a lot of interesting things advertised that can’t afford prime-time rates, every seven minutes. One particular ad caught my eye- and my ire.

A young lady was advertising her credit counseling business, and her tag line, spouted 6 times in her 29 second epic, is “It’s Not Your Fault!”. Over and again, she tried to sell us poor insomniacs on the idea that our financial situation is not our fault- the blame lies somewhere else- the economy; our bosses; the government.

While I will agree that the downturn in our current economy has wreaked all kinds of wickedness on all kinds of good people, the honest truth is, we are responsible for our own financial, social, economic, physical, and spiritual situation. That’s right- as Jimmy Buffet sings, “it might be my fault..”.

Let’s be frank. We must train our children, our neighbor’s children and our community’s children to prepare for their own futures. We have lost the importance of spending less than we make; of saving for a rainy day; and planning for our lives and our children’s lives. As a matter of fact, I am really weary of our government telling us that we deserve all that… and the government will provide it for us! Have we forgotten where the government gets its money? Have we become that lazy and arrogant? Say it ain’t so!

No matter how success is defined, there are no entitlements to it. Some good folks work really hard to scratch out a meager living; others use gifts and talents and skills to earn more than they can realistically use. Either way, they have earned it. It is theirs.

The rub comes in planning for the proverbial rainy day; and it will come. And rainy days are not the fault of the previous administration in the White House; neither are they the result of poor planning in the fiscal meteorology department at the pentagon. And neither are we entitled to having someone reimburse us for the rain.

Sometimes, it just rains. Things break. Prices go up. People get sick. Businesses scale down. It happens; and it is our responsibility to plan ahead for those unthinkable events. If we do not plan for those times-

It is our fault.

Hard decisions are required to plan for those times we hope never come. And we are not entitled to never needing to make a hard decision.

So lady, while your ad costs less than most, in at least one instance, your message did not pass the truth test. I know because I am certified in the scraping by, making hard decision departments. And that is my own fault.

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