Responsibility

by Dan Walsh

Responsibility is a funny thing. As soon as you take it, you also take control.

“I am responsible for my own future.”

Say that out loud.

At least twice.

It’s a hard statement to swallow. It means you can only blame yourself when something goes wrong. You can’t shift the load onto someone else’s shoulders. You can’t point a begrudging finger and feign helplessness. The blame is yours and yours alone. But this also means no one else has the power to ruin you. Only you can do that. And since you have your own best interests at heart, you can at least trust the person in charge of your fate: you.

Perhaps you are not the reason for a mishap. Perhaps someone else ruined your carefully laid plans. They lied, cheated, reneged, or sabotaged. No matter. You are still responsible – that is, if you chose to be. And if you are still responsible then you still have the power to correct the situation. Sea captains of old could not blame the waves or the winds for throwing them off course. They were responsible for landing safely at their destination regardless of capricious weather. They didn’t always make it, but they always had the power to course correct.

Life is a big project. The biggest any of us will endeavor. Responsibility works for small projects too. Taking responsibility for any endeavor is the surest way to gain control of it. This applies to committees, work, and even personal growth. If you own the fault, you also get to make all the decisions.

Responsibility seems like a burden at first, but it is the truest form of freedom.