OPINION

Personal responsibility: So many things we can do

Well, we’ve had another terrible tragedy on the Greek roads, and by now, everyone has jumped on the same bandwagon, pointing their fingers at the government (past and present) and shaking their heads that we have no one to protect us. Yes, there are many shortcomings in the «system» and the infrastructure is having a very hard time keeping up with the demands of the 21st century; and certainly change in all municipal «services» is long overdue. But, most certainly the finger-pointing should be directed first and foremost at the general population – you and me and all of us who live here in Greece. We get into our cars and trucks and onto our bikes, and we drive as though the devil himself was after us! Speed is the number one killer on the Greek roads! Drinking and driving is number two. The only way that these fatalities can be avoided is for all of us to accept personal responsibility for our behavior and our actions (and for their consequences). Instead of waiting for governments to do something, why not start at the root of the problem? We are our own worst enemies. Let’s get some public service announcements on the airwaves; let’s get posters on the streets reminding us to «buckle up» our seatbelts; let’s educate parents to insist that their kids wear helmets or not be allowed to ride their bikes; let’s learn to drive defensively rather than offensively. There are so many things that can be done by us, for us, and without the need for government mandates. It’s a terrible shock to us all when so many children lose their lives in one single accident. It’s a collective grief that will take a long time to heal. And yes, those directly responsible for this horror will be judged, and the government will «do something.» But, if our efforts stop there, then we will have failed as responsible citizens and will continue to put all of our lives at risk every time we take to the roads. God save us from ourselves. SHARON TURNER, Tinos.