The trouble is that personal responsibility is absolutely essential to a healthy civilization. When no one accepts mistakes there cannot be a corrective. Worse, what is replacing this is not a lack of concern, but blaming others. When no one takes responsibility, but everyone thinks its the other person's fault, it shouldn't come as a surprise that society is seriously fractured. At a personal level, recognizing mistakes is the first step toward repentance and true happiness:
When faced with the consequences of transgression, rather than looking to ourselves as the source of the discomfort which always accompanies sin, many of us tend to blame someone else. Rather than getting out of a vicious and senseless circle, we fault our neighbor for our pain and try to pass it on. But to repent we must leave the circle.
The first step in the repentance process has always been simply to recognize that we have done wrong. If we are so hedged about by pride, rationalization, machismo, or a misdirected sense of self-esteem as to prevent us from ever admitting that we are part of the problem, we are in trouble. We then may not even know of our need to repent. We will have no idea whether the Lord is pleased with us or not and may become “past feeling.” (1 Ne. 17:45.) But all men, everywhere, must repent. (See 3 Ne. 11:32.) To fail to do so is to perish. (See Luke 13:3; Hel. 7:28.)
To excuse misconduct by blaming others is presumptuous at best and is fatally flawed with regard to spiritual things, for “we believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” (A of F 1:2.) This not only means that we will not be punished for what Adam did in the Garden, but also that we cannot excuse our own behavior by pointing a finger to Adam or anyone else. The real danger in failing to accept responsibility for our own actions is that unless we do, we may never even enter on the strait and narrow path. Misconduct that does not require repentance may be pleasant at first, but it will not be for long. And it will never lead us to eternal life.
-- F. Burton Howard, “Repentance,” Ensign, May 1991, 12
My experiences have made me more hesitant to help other people. I know this goes against the teaching that we should help without question when others are in need. The problem is, just giving to people no matter what might be putting them - and society - in a worse situation. They become beholden to handouts and start living off others. Instead of trying to find solutions and change for the better, they act as if everyone and everything is conspiring against them. Eventually, all avenues are exhausted and the only thing they are left with is poverty and anger. Seeing people like that (and there are many) makes others less likely to show compassion when another truly in need comes along.
Perhaps it isn't about not giving, but trying to give more wisely. Next time someone comes along asking for help, the first thing I will do is ask what have you done or thought of doing to get yourself out of the situation? Most likely that won't help for those I meet haphazard on the street. Then again, there I go blaming others and not taking responsibility for those in need. It is a spiral that is drowning us all.