I wish I could blame auto-correct for the countless misspellings, grammatical and typographical errors I have made on this blog. But alas, it is not equipped with such technology and I must own all those mistakes. Yet how many of us have had the luxury of blaming such mistakes on such tech in other settings – especially our phones. Yet I fear that pervasive technology also accounts for the mistakes I make here as one has a tendency to become dependent on such things.
That’s a bad trend in a society that already works at every level to avoid responsibility. For an example we need look no further than Dems that are already playing “hide the ball” on the fact that they collapsed like a structure hit by an “angry bird” on the shutdown. But the classic is a cartoon from a few years ago depicting 1960 with parents holding up a report card with a “F” and yelling at their child and also depicting 2010 where the parent and the child are depicted yelling at the teacher about the “F.” Seems like nothing is our fault anymore.
Given this background it was with fascination that I read about two recent accidents involving self-driving cars. Both had drivers behind the wheel claiming the tech did it. So now the normal litigation that follows a traffic accident is massively more complex as the automakers are involved and at some point I am sure their suppliers will be too. Of course everybody is saying someone else is responsible.
As I thought about this state of affairs, Proverbs 28:13 came to mind:
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
This verse reveals two attributes critical to our nation becoming what it has been – a willingness to take responsibility and compassion/mercy. Nobody expects perfection, but we do expect people to learn from their mistakes. And you cannot learn from your mistakes if you do not own up to them.
I find myself wondering how different our current political culture might be if people in Washington once again adopted these attributes. Not just for political mistakes, but in so many of the scandals that are skulking around Washington right now. It’s always the cover-up.
It is true that in this hyper-partisan age, your opponent will always capitalize on your mistake, even when admitted. But somehow I think the American people still have that attribute of compassion/mercy – provided that you actually own up, not partially own up, and your explanation adds up.