Today I read in an online news report that -in Australia- “WELFARE cheats, tax rorters and crooked public servants are ripping off more than $600 million a year as part of a fraud epidemic across the Commonwealth”. That’s a total of about 800,000 incidents of fraud, thereby lifting the cost of welfare fraud up by 10% to A$489,000,000.
Staggering fact: “Young people ripping off the dole and single mums on parental payments emerged as the biggest – and costliest – groups of [welfare] frauds”.
Another staggering fact is that not only the Events welfare RECIPIENTS are “playing the game”; part of the welfare fraud can be blamed on the public servants who enforce the rules. Credit card misuse, and obtaining and using personal information are the biggest “no-no’s” when it comes to this group of welfare frauds.
Staggering, mind blowing and illegal as these actions may be, it begs a more profound, more universal question: how are these welfare fiddlers doing on the Personal Responsibility front? Or, in other words: “how’s your life been working out for you, lately?”
In coaching, whether it is life coaching or business coaching, I work with the concept of Personal Responsibility. Put simply, this is how it works.
When something happens in your life, you have three ways to respond:
- Blame: you can pretend it is not your fault, and actually point fingers at someone else. “I can’t help that I have no money; s/he took it all from me when we split up”.
- Justification: you can pretend outside circumstances caused your hardship. “If only the Global Financial Crisis hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be in so much doo doo today”.
- Personal Responsibility: Regardless of what caused your situation, you deal with it. “For some reason, this happened in my life. Now I will find a way to get through it”.
Many people have a really tough time with personal responsibility, as the consequences of accepting personal responsibility are far-reaching:
- You cannot point fingers anymore at anyone, not even yourself.
- You cannot justify your current crappy situation anymore by looking at the past.
- You have to accept that “what is, is”, and that YOU are the one that has to change, not the “what is-ness”.
I know, it’s SO easy, and in a way comforting to be able to move responsibility away from yourself to something or someone else, but in the end it is going to bite you in the butt. The Law of Attraction, or the Pull Principle (or Factor), as I now like to call it, will emphasise the predominant intent these people have been dealing with, and my guess is that that intent was not too great.
Why, oh why, would you want to lower your personal standards, and do something that most likely is beneath your own sense of self-worth? I know, times can get tough, and situations can get dire (I have done more than enough criminal cases in my legal life to know that there may loads of seemingly understandable “reasons” to commit crimes). Still, I have yet to meet a person who does NOT have any guilt, shame, grief or remorse over committing welfare fraud. That means that these persons have DEFINITELY lowered their sense of self-worth, otherwise they would NOT have committed these offences -that is the upshot of taking personal responsibility!