Bloganuary Prompt #15: What is a life lesson you feel everyone can benefit from learning?

A few invaluable lessons come to mind such as daily gratitude, being true to oneself, and taking personal responsibility. But, let’s go with the ethical lesson that appears antiquated in a culture ensconced in victimhood and entitlement:

personal responsibility

Taking time to make a conscious decision, then acting upon it and accepting responsibility for the outcome — favorable or not, is beneficial for the decision maker and humanity at large. Essentially, I have no right expecting others to endure my consequences.

Taking personal responsibility entwines other qualities of character building like empowerment, self-reliance, honesty, humility, and reliability:

Empowerment

To me, Carol Swain could be the poster gal for taking personal responsibility. I’ve never forgotten her impressive journey from poverty to personal success:

Change begins in one’s mind…Anything is possible

Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be. Stephen R. Covey

Stop pointing fingers and placing blame on others. Your life can only change to the degree that you accept responsibility for it. Steve Maraboli

Self-Reliance

Personal responsibility can also mean helping someone but without taking on the recipient’s consequences. Teaching someone to be self-reliant and fish, rather than giving them fish, is more beneficial and lasting to all parties involved. The same holds true for encouragement versus the soon to be forgotten cashed check.

Manliness consists not in bluff, bravado or loneliness. It consists in daring to do the right thing and facing consequences whether it is in matters social, political or other. It consists in deeds not words. ― Mahatma Gandhi

Honesty and Humility

When making a mistake, it’s easy to lie and hollow out one’s integrity. But, taking the more ethical route of humbly stating the truth like “I stand corrected…” builds character.

Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved? Carl Sagan

Reliability

Keeping one’s word and doing what one has stated they will do is an act of personal responsibility.

Your word is valued more by others than exceeded promises Ludovic Tendron


Acting with personal responsibility — or not, seeps into other areas of one’s character. Here’s some various aspects when this quality doesn’t exist:

Blame

The person who accidentally spills hot coffee and burns themself then not only blames the proprietor but sues and wins millions of dollars in a settlement, ill affects that and other businesses and sets precedent for others to act irresponsibly (and for personal gain).

When we point one finger in blame, there are three fingers pointing back at ourselves.

Negligence

Living beyond one’s means and incurring exorbitant debt undermines personal responsibility. So does making excuses for breaking the law.

We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. ― Ronald Reagan

Diffusion

The person who has children but does not have the appropriate resources or even interest to properly care for and guide the child but expects schools, the government, and society to do their work is debilitating to all involved. The same is true for the absent parent shirking their responsibility.

With the rise in broken homes in certain communities, more students are coming to school unprepared to learn. No amount of money is going to allow these schools to do what they cannot: fill in for disengaged or absent parents. – Senator Doug Mastriano

At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents. – Jane D. Hull.

Entitlement

Anyone has the ability to make a choice, set goals, and work toward them. The person claiming they can’t because they don’t have ____ or ______ and waits for someone else to provide it is self-defeating. Meeting challenges by investing one’s own creativity, time, and/or hard work, builds confidence and a stronger appreciation for the process and results.

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands. Anne Frank


No one said life is going to be easy. Accepting this fact helps launch the can do attitude of taking personal responsibility. Every individual has the wherewithal to choose what they allow into their minds…which affects their emotions…then actions…and life — for themself and others. Taking personal responsibility means learning to think critically for oneself — not relying on teachers, politicians, Google, SM or MSM to tell one what to think.

The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them. Steve Maraboli

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