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I can’t go into any large store in any city without seeing the inevitable perpetual sufferers – the man and woman with the trail of children, two in the cart, several behind it, pulling out their food stamps to pay for the essentials of life. While my heart goes out to them, and particularly their offspring, I can’t help but realize that no one actually put them where they are. While I know that family, genetics, and environment play huge roles in our lives, the choices we make, or fail to make, can leave us boxed into disappointment and desperation. One of the large parts of this whole scenario is responsibility, which is the cornerstone for the growth and advancement of any individual, family, society, or nation.

In the journey of life we are either a passenger or the driver. Responsibility isn’t a burden it’s a grace, a gift that we should accept willingly. We need to learn to take responsibility for our own happiness, our own future. If we do that, we will never wake up one morning and find ourselves terminally disappointed – that all we desire belongs to, or is controlled by, someone else. Most importantly, once you are willing to sacrifice responsibility, the victim mindset dilutes your potential, and submission to authority becomes second nature. We must never forget that responsibility is umbilically attached to liberty.

The problem is that we’ve grown to like easy, we like our food in pre-prepared bags, electronics that organize our life for us, and a government that provides decisions that we used to make ourselves. I’ve come to realize that as a society we’ve grown soft. We’re content with fewer freedoms, because freedom requires constant decisions, and decisions require responsibility, and we’re just too busy enjoying ourselves, or trying to make a living, to have to deal with that. There are really only two choices in life – to accept conditions as they exist, or accept responsibility for changing them. Real change often begins when you quit concerning yourself with how spiritual you appear and surrender yourself to a greater voice that will change you from the inside.  I’m reminded of the quote by entrepreneur and author, Jim Rohn: “You can’t hire someone else to do your pushups for you.”

The willingness to accept responsibility is not purchasable or inheritable. It is a gift from The Creator that we must share with each other and the lesser creatures with which we occupy this planet. We cannot change the wind or the sun, or the seasons, but we can change ourselves, and in the end perhaps preserve this ball of dirt and water to which we owe such a huge responsibility.  Worry less, smile more, accept criticism, take responsibility, listen and love, don’t hate, and embrace change – it’s all part of learning and growing.

I will leave you with a quote by one of the greatest men in contemporary history, Winston Churchill: “The price of greatness is responsibility.”


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