Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Responsibility Redux

I have written in the past about personal responsibility (see for example a post I wrote about 8 months ago entitled Not Responsible!). Everyone has things that set them off, that cause them to drool with rage. One of those areas for me is personal responsibility. Far too many people tend to immediately cast blame in the direction of others when they screw up. This happens from the individual to the corporate level. It seems fairly clear that these people are not simply looking to distract the unwanted attention of onlookers, they really do believe down deep inside that they are wholly without fault. I provide two examples that heat me up inside, one from my past and one that I read on the news recently.

Take Responsibility #1
When I was just a lad back in grade school, our class was visited by an outside worker's advocacy and rights group. I remember one of the folks in this group telling us about how he was unfairly fired from his job as a stock boy in a grocery store. His story was that he was walking out of the store after his shift when he "absentmindedly" took a bag of potato chips from a display on his way out of the store and ate them. His supervisor saw the whole scene and fired him for theft. Instead of taking responsibility for his actions he stood on his soap box and railed against the monsters at the store for firing him. This man was a petty thief trying to get away with something. He got what he deserved but he clearly did not believe that.

Take Responsibility #2
Sailors are reminded every day of their enlistment that the Navy has a zero-tolerance policy on drugs. Zero. If you are caught breaking this rule you will be kicked out of the service. No exceptions, no extra chances. However, a group of sailors decided to party it up one night by getting high on a drug called "spice". When they were busted and being kicked out of the service, they complained that it wasn't fair as "spice" is not yet banned in the community. They just wanted to have a little fun. There was no remorse or acceptance of personal responsibility that they had done anything wrong. They knew that smoking this substance would produce a high just like marijuana. They played roulette, but the bullet was in the chamber. They got what they deserved although they clearly did not believe that.

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step in overcoming any misfortune.