“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln
Personal responsibility is hard. Especially if you have to make hard choices that effect other people.
People in positions of power may offer to take the load off of you by saying: “It’s not your responsibility, i’m the leader so just do as I say and i’ll take the consequences”.
It might be comforting, it might help you sleep a little better to be able to say: “It isn’t my responsibility and I won’t have to take the heat for doing it”.
Now change the scenario. An authority figure gives you a gun and tells you to shoot someone. “It’s not your responsibility, i’m the leader so just do as I say and i’ll take the consequences”.
We can justify it by saying “I had no choice!” but we’d be hard pressed to find any court that would acquit us from the responsibility.
There’s this one caveat however. I’ve met some people who take this to the extreme. They’ve lost touch with people. We should avoid going down that route ourselves.
These people use personal responsibility as a defense to not help others in need. “It’s not my responsibility that they haven’t gotten their life together. They should take personal responsibility!”.
Well that’s true. They should take personal responsibility of their lives. But how is our thinking that productive or helpful? We should tell them how to do that or accept the fact that it IS our responsibility and we CHOOSE not to do anything about it. We don’t even need to feel guilty. Own it and don’t put the responsibility on anybody else, it’s our choice to do so.
We have to make choices every day about what we do and who we spend our time with. We can choose to do what others tell us to do and live in an illusion that it’s not our responsibility or we can choose to do what we feel is right and take the consequences. Which will we choose?
On a personal note, when are we going to stop answering the question “Who did this/that?” with: “Wasn’t me!” and instead the person responsible stands up first and says: “It was me it was!”?
“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals.” – Albert Schweitzer
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.” – Jim Rohn
“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” – Denis Waitley
Les Brown . Getting Unstuck