Thursday, March 8, 2012
It Really IS all About You
My children, as they go about their business of growing up, provide my muse. I was listening to the kids cleaning their bedrooms upstairs and one began to chide the other over some perceived offense or another. I called them down and instructed the older to consider her words and her tone before she spoke to her younger sibling - I expected her to be encouraging and kind rather than flippant and degrading. Much to my chagrin, my daughter responded in an unfailingly human manner - she blamed her sister. "Mom, she wasn't doing what she was supposed to - she was just lolly gagging around not doing anything!" Truth be told, that may well have been the case, however, my instruction was not directed to my younger daughter. It had been to my older daughter and her attitude and tone of voice. She alone was responsible for that, not her little sister. Her little sister was responsible for her own self.
Isn't that the way of human nature? When confronted with our own failings, we race to blame someone else. "He made me do it", "If she hadn't done that, I wouldn't have had to react that way", "If they had done their part, I wouldn't be in this position right now". But the truth of the matter is that we ARE responsible for our own selves. WE alone control how we behave, what we do and how we do it. When we cease to be responsible for our own actions, we give control of our lives to other people. And by shirking responsibility for our own lives we, by default, become slaves.
Being responsible for ourselves is much easier said than done. Swallowing our pride and admitting our shortcomings takes courage and fortitude. It is by far easier to blame someone else for our poor behavior than to own it. Learning responsibility begins at home. It is taught by parents who love their children and never want them to become slaves. Wise parents realize that when children don't learn to take responsibility for themselves, it opens the door for someone else to step in and take responsibility. When we don't teach our kids responsibility, they grow up being, well, irresponsible. They don't pay their medical bills, forcing the state to pick up the tab. When the state picks up the tab, they will tell you what you can and cannot do with your body, thereby making you a slave. It is happening already, in nearly every area of our lives. We have shirked our responsibility, opening wide the door for government to step in and reduce us to little more than vassals.
And so you see, it really IS all about us. The world does revolve around us, as individuals. Our nation will go the way the individual goes. When we choose to not take responsibility, our ability to take make our own choices will be stripped from us. We are not a collective, reliant on each other for our prosperity - we are individuals, making our own future. We are responsible. It really is all about us.