The Debt Gene

Human GeneNormally when I read about some discovery that we can start blaming our DNA or environment or friends or parents or anything other than ourselves for some plight that we’ve gotten ourselves into I point to it as another example of the decline of American society. Recently, however, I came across an article in Scientific American Mind that claims there is a gen that leads one to carry a higher credit card balance – twice as large as those without the trait. Since I know my wife doesn’t read my online drivel so I can say this: Your credit card balance is a simple measure of your ability to live within your means. Genes my eyeteeth!

How screwed up does our country have to get before we start taking responsibility for our plight rather than seeking something or someone else to blame? You can’t hate congress and love your congressman. You can’t blame McDonald’s for selling you that high fat food. And you certainly can’t say your genes made you charge that new bed!

Stop looking for a scapegoat and start doing something before it’s too late. Start with yourself. If we all handled that, there would be few problems left to solve. I’m not telling you to have no compassion for people in true need. Sorry Pat Robertson, I don’t believe that the New Orleaners or the Haitians did something to cause incredible natural disaster to strike their homes. As a civilization, we need to help those who truly can’t help themselves. As for the rest of us, DO SOMETHING to fix your problems. If you can’t fix everything, fix what you can. Blaming outside forces (or inside in the case of genes) will get you nowhere.

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