I often hear people try and rationalize why they do the things they do by hiding behind an external locus of control. You know what I am talking about, they are the people you hear saying:
“I dropped out of school because coming from the inner city, I don’t stand a chance of ever getting out of here.”
“I didn’t get the job even though I am the best qualified because the other candidates all sucked up to the interviewers.”
“I only abuse women because that is what my father taught me.”
“It’s the government’s job to make sure I have health care, food, ADC….”
When we were children, yes, an external locus of control (our parents or other adults) shaped us by either teaching us morals and good citizenship, or by not teaching us proper behavior. However, at some point in time before our age of majority, we knew right from wrong and had to make a conscious decision of what kind of person we would be. Those who chose to blame an external locus of control only did so to avoid taking responsibility for their lives and actions. The prisons (and society) are full of people who blame everyone but themselves for their present situation.
I was asked to describe my being today without physical descriptors. Here is what I came up with:
“I am the sum of my parents, sculpted by my environment and experiences, then molded through my will and knowledge, filtering out imperfections as I go through life. I will never be perfect, but aspire to come as close as I possibly can to be an example for others.”
Imagine if all would do the same how much better the world would be.