“It’s not my fault.” Thoughts on taking responsibility when no one else does (or will).

“Cut the crap and stop whining. Put your big boy pants on and suck it up.”

-The Zen Hiker

I am, and always have been, a firm believer in personal responsibility. I believe that everything that happens to us, and doesn’t happen to us is a direct result of choices that we have made and continue to make. This true in every aspect of our lives.

In our personal lives people to often bemoan the life situation that they are in by blaming everyone and everything else in their lives. The reason why they don’t live in a bigger house? The bank wouldn’t give me a loan. No new car? The dealer wouldn’t give me a good enough deal. Why is my marriage failing? My spouse is the problem. Why are my kids a mess? It’s the schools fault. It is this type of thinking that is killing us as a society. It seems as though no one assigns blame to themselves for the trouble that they may be having.

Sophocles said that “It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it.” A truer statement could not be made. We live in a society today where it is ok to not accept responsibility for anything. Unfortunately this type of behavior starts all the way at the top. Our President has spent the last seven years blaming the previous administration for every single failure during his term. What are we to think when the President of the United States can’t even take responsibility for anything that he has done? Since he does it, why shouldn’t we?

At work we hear the same mantra:

“It wasn’t my fault.”

“I can’t do that because it won’t work.”

“What do you expect me to do, the administration tells us what to do.”

“They have always done it that way.”  

“They expect to much from us.”

When was the last time that you actually heard someone say, “I messed up and I will accept the consequences for what I have done”? I would venture to guess that it is probably not in the recent past. This is a societal issue that needs to be addressed and until we do we will continue to sink lower and lower as a people. This runs across all ethnic lines and income levels.

For those of us getting older, time is running out. For you folks who are younger and yet again much younger, consider making a change in your life that could not only produce better results for you, but would certainly make you happier. What is it that we can do to produce change in ourselves?

First, don’t think that you are entitled to anything. If you want something, go out and earn it. Here’s a shocker-you can’t afford it? Guess what? You can’t have it! Hard work has never killed anyone. Our society is riddled with those who believe that due to their circumstances, they are owed something. Not true. Ken Keyes jr. said that “you are not responsible for the programming that you picked up in childhood. However, as an adult, you are one hundred percent responsible for fixing it.”

Second, If you spend all of your time blaming others for your problems, they will never change. Accepting responsibility for what you have done empowers you and allows you to change things that may occur in the future. You won’t be relying on others to change to help improve your situation. If you want change, you have to be the one to make it happen.

Lastly, I refer you to the quote at the top of this blog. “Cut the crap and stop whining. Put your big boy pants on and suck it up.” Do I really need to say anything else?

Some other quotes to think about as you choose the path to change::

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

“This is your life. You are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don’t wait.”  -Natalie Goldberg

“Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.” -Erica Jong

Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our actions, everything we have done, and have not done.” -Hubert Selby jr.

2 thoughts on ““It’s not my fault.” Thoughts on taking responsibility when no one else does (or will).

  1. Barb Knowles

    Since I have the polar opposite political views than you, I’ll skip over that part lol. But I agree 100% with the fact that we all need to take responsibility for our actions and accept natural consequences of our behavior. This post made me think about my childhood. Was it different then? Or was my family different? I grew up in a military family and if you tried to blame anyone else for anything it was not tolerated. Strongly not tolerated. Do you think society as a whole has changed in regard to how we raise our children? I definitely see a difference in parents’ attitudes as a teacher.

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  2. The Zen Hiker

    Does the term “Helicopter Parent” ring a bell? Children today aren’t allowed to do anything. They have been taught that it’s ok to blame their teacher for bad grades or poor behavior. I was in the same boat as you growing up. You couldn’t blame anyone for what you did. Everyone always says “when we were kids it was so different.” In this case it is true.

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