“Full responsibility”

In the past week I’ve heard two guys say they “take full responsibility” for the wrong they committed.

The first was a Catholic bishop who allowed a child abuser to retain his position in the church.

The second was Anthony Wiener.

In both cases, neither took voluntary action to correct the respective situations when they were originally presented.  Wiener even went so far as to lie and make false accusations on others to displace blame.

Neither have taken voluntary action — like resigning — to demonstrate that they did “take full responsibility.”  Wiener specifically said he would not take such action.

I’m left wondering what exactly “taking full responsibility” means.  Apparently admission of committing a wrong and hoping the heat dies down is the full extent of the meaning.

3 thoughts on ““Full responsibility”

  1. were wieners actions criminal? if so, he should be arrested…if not…he should probably be left alone. at least until the next election cycle..when his constituents can determine his future.

    • Hi dave — Good point. But, notice I didn’t say we should do anything to him.

      I’m just wondering what “I take full responsibility” means. In these cases I think “I take full responsibility” is disingenuous blather. I it would be more meaningful if those who uttered it backed it up with a self-imposed consequence to demonstrate that they do indeed take full responsibility and they’re not just saying it for effect.

      For example, I broke a Geiger counter in my high school chemistry class. The replacement cost was $1,000, which was a lot of money for me. I apologized to my chemistry teacher, said that I took full responsibility and I offered to pay the full cost of the replacement.

      He didn’t have me pay for it, but he did keep me after school for a few weeks to have me help clean equipment and set up equipment for the next day’s experiments and I followed-through on that.

      I don’t know what action Weiner could have taken to convince me that his claim of responsibility was genuine, but taking no action certainly wasn’t it. I’m not sure if he needed to resign. I maybe could have been convinced of authenticity if he simply said, “I carried out some of this dumb behavior on the taxpayers’ dime, so I’m giving a quarter of my paycheck back to the people to help make it right.”


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