Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Personal Responsibility

One of Sarah's favorite topics, and mine. We talk a lot about personal responsibility, but what does that actually mean? The LiveStrong website has some great information about this. I copied and pasted the statements that really resonated with me.

'What is personal responsibility?
- Acknowledging that you are solely responsible for the choices in your life.
- Accepting that you are responsible for what you choose to feel or think.
- Accepting that you choose the direction for your life.
- Accepting that you cannot blame others for the choices you have made.
- Not feeling sorry for the "bum deal" you have been handed but taking hold of your life and giving it direction and reason.' --www.livestrong.com
There is a virus that affects the weak-minded. These people do not accept the very basic belief that they control their own destiny. Their situation is always someone else's fault, they are always the victim, and their circumstances are always to blame. You cannot control the life you are born into, but you can control the direction you head once you step foot into this world.


  1. Sweet! I love this topic. I think the majority of our problems/issues all come back to this! Shut your pie hole and do something about it if you don't like it. But doing that could be hard for some and remain completely debt free, but responsible debt to get started I believe is reasonable. Just my opinion. Also, not that I have been to one....but some of those seems very similar to what they talk about at AA meetings.

  2. I like all of these statements and I think they hold very true. This is the mentality that Americans need to starting having and instilling in our youth. Maybe this kind of thinking is the answer to all those people stuck in the vicious cycle of poverty. The problem is that this takes time to show improvement and we have become a society of instant gratification. And it is impossible to organize such a massive re-direction in thinking overnight.

    So what can be done? I think it's all about those who really believe in these statements and this mentality to go out and lead by doing. Live by these standards and go out and make something for yourself (which I believe most everybody on this blog is doing - sorry Dylan). But I think you have to be a little unselfish in your attitude as well and try to improve the quality of life for those below you. It's like a pyramid scheme - the better the people below you are doing, the better things are for you too.

  3. I also believe our poor education system in this country has a large effect on current and future generations in this country. Until there is good education reform I don't think a lot will change. Speaking of that....someone should write a blog about education in this country. Justin - sorry but I don't completely agree with your pyramid scheme statement. I think there are many organizations in place to help people in those situations. Whether they need to be run better or people just don't use them to help themselves, I don't know, but I know they exist.

  4. Can we please stop using the 'P' word? I much prefer multi-tiered, multi-faced, outwardly sloping, 3D shape of opportunity.

  5. The appropriate term is "Network Marketing".

  6. That doesn't have the appeal that my term does. If it's too long for you (that's what she said), then try calling it by the abbreviated version: MTMFOS3DO.

  7. can we call it a cone of opportunity?

  8. I think 80% of the worlds problems would be solved by people owning their issues. And I love your acronym Jake, but you are going to win huge brownie points with Heather on that as she is the queen of acronyms.

  9. Jake - I would just like to comment on how much your "that's what she said" style has improved! It as not always this way. Bravo!

  10. All of this is well and good, but the problem is that you don't pop out of the womb and say, "I am responsible for my own actions". I can not speak for everyone on this blog but I know the parents of a lot of people on here and it is easy for me to understand how we can all agree on personal responsibility.

    I believe that what happens to a person during the early years of his/her life is going to have a huge influence on the kind of person they are, and telling a person that they are supposed to be personally responsible for their own actions when that is not what they have been taught or experienced can often be completely useless.

    I'm not trying to rain on your personal responsibility parade, because I believe in it myself and think this world would be a lot better off if everyone believed in it. I just don't think that telling everyone that they are personally responsible for their actions really does anything but reaffirm those who believe it and piss off the people who don't.

    J.B. and Dylan keep telling me about this documentary on a specific high school in Baltimore, where almost every student in the school comes from a broken home in the projects and the school they attend is one of the worst in the country. Those children are learning nothing at home and not much more when they go to school. There is like one freshman in the entire freshman class that can read at a freshman level. There is no hope for these people. They are going to grow up to be the same bums that their parents are. They are uneducated and emotionally traumatized from the experiences in their life and there is no motto or website that can change that. Those kids may be responsible for the choices they make in their life, but they are not responsible for why they are the way they are. There is no doubt in my mind that those same children raised in a different environment could be just as successful and happy in life as anybody else.

  11. You know what pisses me off, when you are driving down the road and you see someone throw something out their window...that just gets me mad. The other day I saw right by our house someone driving and chunk a beer can out the window, people like that make me wish they would crash into a dumpster.

  12. I'm with Brett in saying that your personal beliefs, ideas, perceptions, etc. is determined much more by Nurture versus Nature. He's right when he said you don't pop out of the womb ready to start making something of yourself. All the experiences you have growing up determines what kind of person you become. Unfortunately, there is an overwhelming percentage of Americans who feel they deserve to be handed an opportunity.

    In one sense I think they are right that they need to be given an opportunity, but simply handing them cash is not the answer. But an opportunity must be created for these people to finally break the cycle that has them trapped. This is done by either those that are better-off throwing money at the situation to have somebody fix it or to actually go out there and get your hands dirty.

    Until the other side starts acting as a collective group and actively helping those less fortunate instead of complaining about the problem and expecting our government to fix it, we are always going to have this problem. We will always have different classes of people but if we all follow the MTMFOS3DSO model and make life better for those underneath us, we will always be better off ourselves in the long run.

  13. Good point, Kevin.

    My problem with this blog is not the statements about personal responsibility. I could not agree with those more. Or the comments about early life experiences affecting one's own issues with personal responsibility. Couldn't agree with that more either. My problem is that no one has discussed how government and the bleeding heart b-holes have made it easier for people to lose the requirement of personal responsibility, by creating social programs like medicaid, social security, food stamps etc, and have instilled a sense of entitlement in our generation that is going to have devastating effects on our future. I believe this is one of the reasons that the separation of classes is occurring so drastically. We are making it easier for people to get by without having to do anything productive. Our grandparents' generation had the mentality of you want something, you work for it. No one is going to be there to just give it to you. But, that's how it is now.

    Maybe my view is skewed because of the people that come into the ER with medicaid. They come into the ER (which is much, much more expensive than going to a primary physician, an urgent care clinic, or just to the pharmacist and asking "What's good for a cough?") complaining of a cough. And the hospital treats them (which is ridiculous and a different blog in itself), gives them medicine, writes a prescription, and sends them on their way. And they never pay a cent. They don't pay medicaid premiums. They don't have co-pays, and they don't receive the bill. The state of Texas receives the bill and then sends back an amount of money they believe is appropriate. Everyone but the medicaid beneficiary is getting screwed. And when they come in to the ER, even though the waiting room is completely full and there are some very sick people sitting there, they are LIVID that we're not calling them back to a room and treating them right away. The sense of entitlement never ends.

    Although harsh, there comes a time when you just have to say "No! Either get up and do something for yourself or die." (People dying. Now that's something Justin can get behind). I haven't seen the documentary y'all are talking about, but I am more than willing to bet that those kids parents rely heavily on some forms of government subsidies (and I'm not talking about Federally Guaranteed Student Loans). And that attitude of relying on "the man" to get by will be passed through the generations.

    So, in summation, I agree with Brett. Telling someone "Be responsible for yourself." isn't going to cut it. It's going to take drastic action of removing the devices that enable people to dismiss personal responsibility.


    Lastly, (without a "first" or "firstly") don't get me started on Hurricane Katrina Victims!!!!

  14. I disagree, Justin. I say stop helping the less fortunate. I say force them to make it on their own. If they want out of their situation, let them do something about it. In the timeless idea of Dave Chappelle, they need to "Sling rock. Be good at basketball. Make a rap album. Something!"

  15. Sorry this is so long (TWSS)
    I agree and understand what you are saying. Just saying stating everyone needs to start to be personally responsible now is not going to fix everything or work. I just think that there is a cycle that is getting worse and worse and we as a country need to do something to stop it. I have seen that documentary, or something much like it...I don't remember the name, but yes, those kids are deep into the uneducated poverty cycle and very few, if any, will get out. But shouldn’t we do something to prevent it from continuing to happen?

    In that documentary, very few kids graduated and many needed up in gangs because in that atmosphere that is easier. I do not fault them for that. I think it is stupid, but I am not ignorant enough not to understand why at the age it is the chosen path. They see the money, so called “family” aspect, etc. that they do not have at home and feel they will not obtain from school. This is where I see the problem.

    I think there are thing we can do to start correcting the cycle and at least making it better instead of allowing it to get worse. They are: welfare reform, education reform, and new programs against drugs and teen pregnancy where it is most abundant.

    I am by no means against welfare. I believe there are people out there that need help and I have no problem with that. Do I also think there are also many people out there milking the system? Yes. I think there needs to be a better ways of monitoring what people are doing in order to get off welfare, and to better them selves, etc. Stop the welfare families and welfare babies depending on this for survival.

    Education to me is a huge key. I was extremely frustrated by what I saw in that documentary. I personality think it all goes back to the teachers and the resources they have. There are now programs/exams that are supposed to make our school systems better and excel. Standardized exams are supposed to judge teachers and schools. If the school gets good exam scores they are raked and get more money and teacher sometimes get incentives. The school curriculum is 90% focused on these exams. In the documentary only about 2 students in one teacher’s class could pass. This same teacher also had a class of about 23 and only 16 books for the students to use for the required English reading. Mostly because the students would destroy them or lost them and there were no funds to replace them. I feel that in high school it is too late. Something needs to be put in place much earlier and work up through the years.

    Also, we need to make it a priority to reward and make good teachers. I personality don’t feel that teachers make enough money. Yes, I know they get 2-3 months off, but I think we need to raise their base pay, make a cap, and start incentives or bonuses for good teachers. Right now I don’t think teacher have anything to want to work hard for except those few good ones out there that just do it for the children and it is their passion. Teachers need to be considered a much more important profession!

    New generations need something to learn from besides there parents, because unfortunately not all “parents” have kids for the right reasons, and many are kids themselves. Many don’t set good examples for their children. And like Brett said they will follow in their parent’s footsteps, because that is what they see. That is their experience growing up. So I feel we need more programs in and out of schools to teach them and use examples to show them different avenues then what they are in now. But this needs to start younger before the cycle has started. Not saying it can’t be broken, but it is just more difficult.

    I do agree that the more fortunate need to help those that are less fortunate, but I believe we already do. I just think the programs in place are BS and need to change, because it isn’t working. I also feel it is our governments (city, state, and national) job to fix it. If they would like to give me back my tax money then I will put some of my money in the areas I believe it should go into and think would benefit the less fortunate. I wouldn’t bailout any of the companies currently being bailout with my tax money and put it else where. But because that is not the case, I can only vote for people I think will do what I believe in and volunteer in organizations I also feel help.

  16. In my heart of hearts I agree with all the points made by both Casey and Brett and I would honestly (and I really do mean honestly) be in support of letting the weak die off in America. In fact, I would also support that we expedite this idea by killing them ourselves.

    However, since such an extreme approach will never be an acceptable option in our lifetime I find myself supporting Sarah's above ideas. Those programs are indeed cancer's to our society and need to be reformed. But in my reform plan, the final end goal would be to totally eliminate the programs that are being intially reformed.

    This is a long-term objective and one that I think Casey C. Campbell, Esq. should use as one of the bases for his potiical agenda. Vote Campbell in 2028!

  17. While we are on a somewhat of extreme approach to things. I also think we should start regulating who can have kids. You can't have anything until you can prove you can afford them. Until then....your baby maker is revoked. Just a thought.

  18. Sarah, your last point is genius. You could then sleep with only poor chicks as they are guaranteed to be able to have your baby. I am still working on my serious post, I could not pass up commenting on this one.

  19. I meant guaranteed NOT to be able to have your baby! Gosh, I can't believe I screwed that softball up.

  20. Sarah has always been for the regulating kids of stupid people, I am soooo for it too.

  21. Not just stupid people....everyone. I have a great plan for it too! Condom sales may drop and STD's may raise, but that is a small price to pay. But different blog on a different day I guess.