“Man is never a victim of his environment. The free-will given him to reason and make choices, allows him have a say in how his life turns out. Stop making excuses and take responsibility for your actions”. – Khuana
In a world where everything is fast going downhill, the don’t-blame-me mentality is the chief architect of the ills and wrongs happening today. While we are quick to point fingers at others as the reason for our ill-actions, we are just as quick to exonerate ourselves from the blame.
We put the blame on anything else but us. People commit murder and blame the society. Men commit rape and blame the society. Women carry out abortions and blame the society. The society is always to blame for all our ill actions but when we do anything good or worthy of celebration, then we have accomplished despite society.
Society may force a gun in your hand but it doesn’t cause you to pull the trigger. That is entirely your decision.
Society may be unfriendly and unsociable but it doesn’t cause you to commit suicide. That is entirely your decision.
Society may allow friendliness and interactions between neighbors but it doesn’t cause you to break into another’s home to steal. That is entirely your decision.
Who makes up the society? It is you and I.
What we are invariably doing is pointing fingers at older generations for not teaching us any better and they in turn point fingers to the generations before them and the blame keeps going until it eventually leads to Adam and Eve, the first Man and Woman, and then the serpent.
“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.” ― Adrienne Rich
Accountability makes us admit our wrongs, repent of them and put an end to them. We do not need to keep at these “no-fault” crimes and apportioning blames to others. Let us break this chain and become responsible for our actions.
It is only in doing this that we are able to acknowledge that they are wrong, understand how much pain and hurts they cause and desist from doing them. No one else is responsible for how your life turned out to be other than you.
The first and most important step in building a credible character is to be a morally responsible and upright individual.
“The price of greatness is responsibility.” ― Winston S. Churchill
Begin by taking a conscious decision to be of a reputable character. One way you can decide to work on yourself is by choosing a pillar of strength each month to inculcate as a habit.
Beginning with this month of April, you can choose to groom yourself in the virtue of fairness. In your thoughts, actions and even your words, try to be fair to yourself and to others. This involves you in been impartial and just in your treatment of yourself and others too.
In the month of May, you can decide to work on Respect. Just as you did with fairness, let your thoughts, words and actions show respect for yourself first and then others. Curb the words that come out of your mouth. Watch your body language and mannerisms. Be mindful of the feelings of others and don’t just act in any way you feel like.
“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.” ― Joan Didion
In the month of June, Good Citizenship can be the virtue you want to be groomed in. Understanding and fulfilling the responsibilities you owe to society, carrying out your civic duties, obeying the law and not trying to maneuver it…all these and more makes you a good citizen.
Accountability not only to oneself but to others is part of good citizenship. Do not keep silent at wrongs committed by others. Stand and speak always for the truth. You owe this to yourself as well as others.
Pay your taxes as due. Give back to society because you never did succeed on your own even if you think you did. Every thing you used to accomplish your business or that successful feat, is already paid for by others – good roads, teachers who taught you, security that protects you etc.
Vote as you are required to do. Do not remain ignorant and shy away from your civic duties because you think the “government” will take care of things. You and I are the government. It is the person we elect to rule that ends up calling the shots. It is our duty to put men and women of integrity to be leaders of our world.
“[F]reedom isn’t free. It shouldn’t be a bragging point that “Oh, I don’t get involved in politics,” as if that makes you somehow cleaner. No, that makes you derelict of duty in a republic. Liars and panderers in government would have a much harder time of it if so many people didn’t insist on their right to remain ignorant and blindly agreeable.” ― Bill Maher
Ignorance is never bliss as I said in my last post. Be open to knowledge. Decide to know. Be willing to know because it is only in knowledge that you would fully understand your rights as a human being and grasp the full essence of life.
“A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.” ― John Stuart Mill
There are so many virtues you can inculcate as habits but not all at once. Take them one at a time and before long, you would notice a noteworthy difference about you and how better your life has become.
“What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.” ― Anaïs Nin
Becoming responsible goes hand-in-hand with a good and proper attitude. Understanding the fact that you are solely responsible for your actions and how your life turns out to be is a first step to having a proper attitude because with this at the back of your mind, you would always want to act and live properly.
Do not let the society or the world get to you. Rise above them and always, always be the bigger man in the picture. Never go with the ways of the world – an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth.
Choose the road of forgiveness. This way, the society can never hold you in chains and bind you to ills. Forgive others and get on with your life.
Refuse to be a victim of the environment or any circumstance. YOU ARE NOT. Victimization makes you helpless.
“Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan”. ― John F. Kennedy
Don’t delude yourself into thinking playing the role of a victim keeps you from making hard and practical choices to assume responsibility for your mistakes. This is not in keeping you safe. It is enslaving you to the society or circumstance in which you play victim.
Choose to be free!
Little wonder Sigmund Freud said, “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”
So, decide today to start living differently. Decide today to be responsible for yourself and your actions. Own up to wrongs and be truly sorry for them while you make cautious effort not to do them again.
At the end of the day, we are what we make of ourselves and not society says we should be.