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Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Buck Stops . . . With Me

Taking Responsibility

Shifting blame on to others is intrinsic to our fallen human condition.  Right from the beginning, immediately after the Fall, Adam, our father blamed his wife and God ("The woman you gave to me, she gave me the fruit . . ."); Eve, our mother blamed the Serpent  ("The serpent deceived me and I ate").  Just about everything that is wrong with human society can be traced back to these fateful events, attitudes, and words. 

It is not very often we read or hear of someone who takes full responsibility for his actions and what devolved from them.  It is so rare, it's refreshing.  But more than that, it opens up the possibility of moving on. 

Dion Batt has brain damage resulting from a motorcycle crash which occurred as a result of him fleeing from police pursuit.
  The Police Conduct Authority has published a critical review of police procedures and command and control in the case.  When asked by the NZ Herald to comment upon the critical findings, Mr Batt was clear: the fault was his, no-one elses. 
A motorcyclist who suffered life-threatening brain injuries after he crashed during a police pursuit says officers are not to blame - despite a highly critical report.  Dion Batt was chased by police after he was seen riding at more than 100 km/h in a 50km/h zone.  Mr Batt, who had methamphetamine in his system, crashed into a traffic island in Don Buck Rd, Massey, and was hurt so badly he wasn't expected to survive.
But the rectitude in this case does not stop with Dion.  His mother has the same attitude.
Mr Batt, who now lives with his parents in Raglan, said yesterday that he did not want to speak about the incident other than to say he placed no blame on police for the outcome.  "No one else was to blame. It was my fault," Mr Batt said through his mother, Sharon, because his injuries meant he couldn't be interviewed. "I realise there was fault on [the police's] part," Mrs Batt said, "but I still as a mother ... put the fault squarely on Dion's shoulders because everything starts from somewhere and that's where it started."
It's appropriate that police command and control procedures be tightened up and improved.  But Dion could be living his life in anger and bitterness towards the police over the mistakes they made.  But he is not.  He accepts that he was the person ultimately responsible.  If he had not been on methamphetamine it would never have happened.  Recognising this means that he can avoid bitterness and blameshifting and get on with his life.  So much better. 
Mr Batt is now in a wheelchair, looked after by his parents and other carers. His two sons also live with him. "He's a happy man," Mrs Batt said. "He's got restricted mobility, but he still can take a few steps. His comprehension is slow."  Considering what he went through, his life was basically good, she said. "He and ourselves, we hope that he will one day find a partner and be happy - someone who'll understand and who'll love him."
We hope so, too.   God grant that we can live more and more like Dion Batt. 

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