We need your help — Support your hometown newspaper by making a donation.
That’s The Way Things Are

My World


Screw you.

No, I’m serious.

I’m going to do whatever the hell I want.

I mean, I might as well take a page out of everyone else’s book and at least even the playing field.

After all, this is the mentality that an awful lot of people abide by, and I had a personal experience again last weekend which is a perfect illustration of this unfortunate trend. I was at the beach club in Atlantic Beach, sitting in an open area doing some work on my laptop. For years I’ve done this at the club without incident. But in the middle of the afternoon, four or five little kids came running through, maybe six, seven, eight years old or so. One little boy with a water gun — looking right at me and seeing a laptop — fired his water gun and sent water all over my keyboard and mouse pad.

Now let’s be clear, right from the start… This isn’t about the kid. He’s eight years old. Kids make mistakes and that’s how they learn — I hope — so that they don’t make the same mistakes when they get older and become adolescents and then adults.

This is about the parents.

When I found his parents and went over to them to discuss what happened, their response was beyond obnoxious. Since it was a child and since it occurred in a public area, they insisted, they aren’t at all responsible. And they had a major attitude about it, telling me I could even talk to cops and lawyers if I’d want to see that they’re correct.


You really believe that you have no responsibility for your child, because, in effect, he is a child? And also tossing in for good measure, since it occurred in a public area for club members?


You don’t think you’re accountable for your children and their behavior? What the hell goes through your mind that you actually believe…

No, never mind. I’m not even going to go there. That’s another column in itself…

I did take these negligent parents up on their challenge. And after speaking with two current Nassau County police officers, one recently retired Nassau County officer, my lawyer, and two lawyer friends of mine, they all confirmed what I knew to be true… Of course they’re responsible; parents are responsible for their children’s actions when they are minors, and whether it took place in a public area or not has nothing to do with it. One of the people I consulted went so far as to elaborate, saying that the incident happened in the first place because of the parents’ “failure to properly supervise” the kid.

But this isn’t about the legal aspect either. As I said, it’s about the parents.

How can anyone have the viewpoint that they’re not responsible for their minor children’s behavior? Frankly, I’m not even completely convinced that they actually are of that opinion, but used it as a cover and excuse to attempt to avoid paying for potential damage to the laptop.

The real issue is their failure to acknowledge and accept responsibility — a course of action which so many people take, unfortunately.

How do people expect their children to grow up to be good and moral people, when the values they instill in them are to evade responsibility for anything and thereby do whatever they want? This is the country and society that we’ve slowly been creating for ourselves, and it’s been noticeable for a while now.

How often have we seen people, quite simply, doing whatever they want, without any regard for other people? Jumping in front of other people in a line, not doing something they said they would, cutting off people on the road, the list is endless…

I’m constantly amazed by the nerve people clearly have, as they prove to the world by the way they conduct themselves — doing whatever they want. Forget about the level of audacity that it takes to behave this way, though. It’s the consequences that I’m more concerned about.

In your own mind, do and think whatever you want. It’s your mind. I don’t care. Well, not much, anyway. Regardless though, that’s your territory. But when you act on your twisted thinking and it negatively impacts other people who did nothing to warrant it, and you’re essentially just trying to cover your ass much of the time, that’s when I take major issue.

We live in the world we create, for better or worse. I can’t speak for you, but I, for one, would like to see people stop acting like it’s all right for them to do whatever they want, regardless of the negative consequences for others, and start acting with at least a modicum of consideration and respect. Doing so all the time would be nice, but I’ll even take a modicum to start and go from there.

Besides, you never know when it could be you who ends up suffering the collateral damage.

Follow me on Twitter: @mhcoops18