Hello from beautiful Missoula:
Assuming personal responsibility is one of the measures of a mature individual. This is a goal for each of us and one we want to teach our children. This act of assuming personal responsibility is the willingness to think for myself and to act wisely with choices from my own mind. Others may have influence over me and may instruct, give tools, assist, and try to persuade me to go against my best interest. However, I do not grant others authority or my consciousness or follow blindly when I do not understand or agree.
When one act responsibly, it is with the agreement that the achievement of my happiness is my own job. No one else has the power to “make me happy” or “make me mad.”
I know that I, alone, am responsible for my life, well-being, attitude and actions in all those areas that are open to my choice.
What is Not My Responsibility?
Just as I determine what I am responsible for, I need to recognize and acknowledge all that I am not responsible for. I can control my own actions and thoughts, but I am not responsible for control other people’s thoughts and actions. I can influence them with new information or ideas but do not have the power or the right to control their minds and lives.
As parents, we have a responsibility to teach character traits and values. Does this insure that our children will not reject the teachings and make wrong choices? No, each individual has the right to make choices for their lives. Sometimes parents in my parenting classes will be racked with guilt because they taught and modeled honesty and their son still shoplifted.
Lack The Power To Control Others
Many feel that it is their responsibility to help others make wise choices. They imagine themselves to posses a power no one posses; the power to determine the choices another person will make. If we learn that we do not have control over the minds and lives of others, we must also accept that we do not have complete and unlimited control over our own lives either.
Forces Beyond Our Choices Occur
It is a hard lesson to learn that sometimes bad things happen to good people. Individuals do suffer through no fault or responsibility of their own. Choices are frequently very limited. All of us are affected at times by political,economic, environmental conditions that we do not choose. We do have options, that are within our responsibly, of how we react or respond to those forces.
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