It’s been said that the line between childhood and adulthood is crossed when we move from saying, “It got lost” to “I lost it.” Indeed, being accountable and understanding and accepting the role our choices play in the things that happen are crucial signs of emotional and moral maturity. That’s why responsibility is one of the main pillars of good character.
Many people have been seduced by the Peter Pan philosophy of refusing to grow up and avoiding the burdens implied in being accountable. Yes, responsibility sometimes requires us to do things that are unpleasant or even frightening. It asks us to carry our own weight, prepare and set goals, and exercise the discipline to reach our aspirations. But the benefits of accepting responsibility far outweigh the short-lived advantages of refusing to do so. No one makes his or her life better by avoiding responsibility. In fact, irresponsibility is a form of self-imposed servitude – to circumstances and to other people.
Responsibility is about our ability to respond to circumstances and to choose the attitudes, actions, and reactions that shape our lives. It is a concept of power that puts us in the driver’s seat.
The grand panorama of the potential of our lives can only be appreciated when we begin to be accountable and self-reliant. Responsible people not only depend on themselves but show others that they can be depended on. This breeds trust, and trust is a key that opens many doors.
If you want more control over your life and the pleasures, prerogatives, and power of freedom and independence, all you have to do is be responsible.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.