Adults. Why are they so dramatic about everything? They’re ruining all the things that matter to me — my parents won’t let me play with those kids from down the street; my teachers won’t let me have any fun when I want to. I guess I’ll just deal with it, what can you do? — The thoughts of a child.

Those girls are the worst. If only girls weren’t so obsessed with themselves and those stupid, athletic dudes, then they’d see me for who I am. But what can you do? Not my fault even the coolest girls suck, and that’s exactly why I’m single. — The thoughts of an angsty teenage boy.

I’m a full-grown adult now; I don’t need some old-ass person bossing me around and telling me what to do. They’re off running the country into the ground, and all I’m going to inherit is a pile of ashes. Great. But what can you do? When the country burns it’s going to be their fault — I’m just one person, and I’ll deal with all that when the time comes. — The thoughts of a young adult.

Kids. My father always sneered at the folly of children, but this time there’s real merit to it. This time is different, and they’re ruining everything. The country is going into the hands of kids who eat tide-pods and dye their hair purple, how the hell are they supposed to keep the greatness of America afloat? Kids were different in my day. But what can you do? When the country falls apart from their weakness, they’ll only have themselves to blame. — The thoughts of an elderly American.

All of these people have figured out how to shift the blame away from themselves and entirely onto someone else.

The first step in a culture of resignation is pointing the finger elsewhere. The second step is using that as an excuse to say, “What can you do?” and then do nothing because you believe the battle to have already been lost.

It seems these days we are constantly searching for a way out of responsibility.

“These days.” It’s nothing new, and this mentality has permeated every culture in their own ways — we are just seeing today’s brand of it. So perhaps instead of “culture,” “human nature” may be more appropriate. Reading literature throughout the ages will make one acutely aware that this problem transcends our brief sliver in time, but it would be disingenuous to say that this problem needs to be fought today just as it always has been.

Either way, the deferment of responsibility is alive and well right now, and sometimes we even take it a few steps further. We often say that not only are these problems someone else’s fault but that those someones have ruined everything.