The urgent need for personal responsibility
The effects of nonresponsibility
The results of personal responsibility
The signs of not taking personal responsibility
The absolute indicators
We all get much better results when we all are personally responsibility
Tough love: is it bad or is it effective?
So, let's see how this applies to Obama
Until the people in this country get back a strong ethic and practice of personal responsibility, we shall continue to languish and we will fall further down the prosperity scale because of economic factors we are not acknowledging and responding to.
THE EFFECTS OF NONRESPONSIBILITY
When we allow dependency, give handouts without requiring something, we beget personal irresponsibility and dependence on others - and people who fall further down because they have less confidence in themselves and less ability because they have not gotten out into the world to confront problems and develop solutions.
Those who advocate giving to the poor just because they are poor and "it is our moral responsibility" can be guilty of harming those people, as it can enable them to get into a morass of manipulation and dependency.
Of course, if we assume the national ethic of taking care of our fellow citizens by assuring they are not suffering, we will provide adequate care for those who are not capable of providing it for themselves AND cannot learn to do that.
If they are able bodied, but uneducated, then we will require that education of them in exchange for our temporary support of them (and make all or a good portion of the moneys advanced to them be paid back, considering it a loan to help them for a temporary need - this fits the principle of having those people who benefit pay for those benefits, if and when they can).
THE RESULTS OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
1. Confidence I can produce the results I want in life.
2. Actually getting good results through my actions (and learning).
To the extent we encourage others to be dependent, we rob them of the benefits of personal responsibility - and rob them of the feeling of pride and confidence in themselves, the better results, and ultimately the happiness they could have!
THE SIGNS OF NOT TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Whenever we become passive where we are not producing our own benefits, whenever we become dependend on others to do something for us that we could do for ourselves, whenever we are being the effect of other forces rather than the cause of our lives - we are in an irresponsibility mode.
Of course, few of us are 100% one way or the other, but we should be able to spot irresponsibility and then to correct it before we are damaged by it and/or don't get what we want out of life.
Personal responsibility = I am the causer of my life and I act accordingly.
Personal irresponsibility = I am at the mercy of others and of circumstances and they are the cause over me; I am "at the effect" of outside forces and not doing what I can to better the situation (i.e. not being "the cause" of what one can do to better the situation).
Short hand: The choice of being "at cause" in life = personal responsibility
The choice of being "at effect" in life = not-responsible
The absolute indicators of lack of personal responsibility:
Blaming (= the cause of the problem or my feelings is "out there, versus I am responsible for creating a response that leads to bettering the situation)
Complaining (= a close cousin to blaming, it is discussing the negative with no intention to bring about a good effect, but perhaps the hope to get either sympathy or to have someone else solve it)
Making others wrong (= it's their fault or they're bad; i.e. the cause is "out there"; one gets to shirk the responsibility for creating better and/or is trying to get a result from another by manipulating them [meaning the power is still "over there"].
Making excuses (= it was not my fault as it was something else that caused this; versus the ultimate responsibility attitude of "I am at cause over everything and if something goes wrong I will respond to it such that I do what I can to make it work better)
Not doing what you said you'd do or advocated (this is just not acting to create a positive for some reason [with that reason being like something outside of your control])
Using two wrongs to make a right, justifying (= similar to blame, trying to absolve oneself of the responsibility for the results; "Well, they were irresponsible too, so I am absolved of doing all I can positively; a responsible person knows he/she has the responsibility regardless of circumstances - their responsibility is always there and not dependent "out there" - they are strictly always "at cause" of making things work better.)
Unresolved conflict (= we have not done enough, or all that is possible, to have resolved a conflict; people who are responsible do not stay "at conflict" with others, making them wrong and feeling hostility [hostility toward another is an indication both of putting the blame "out there" but also of lack of Rational Thinking].)
Problems persist (= we are not directing adequate effort to solve problems [regardless of what others are doing or not doing, which is the excuse that causes lack of responsibility persisting])
It's unfair (= hoping someone else will make it right or its a form of blame and/or making others wrong; it's putting "the cause" "out there" instead of just acknowledging one doesn't have the result one wants and then simply going for it; "unfair" is usually an "oppositional" term and not a productive term; it is also an entitlement term, which is related to someone else doing something for you simply because you exist or the like)
WE ALL GET MUCH BETTER RESULTS WHEN WE ALL ARE PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE
When we all are responsible, we all are contributing to the greater good and increasing the size of the pie, rather than fighting over how to split the pie and/or take from another instead of providing for ourselves. We all become stronger and more capable.
We are not fighting "against" but we are going "for" something.
This may seem to be a subtle difference, but "against" is a huge negative.
Definition: In a direction or course opposite to; in hostile opposition or resistance to: struggle against fate; contrary to; opposed to.
While going "for" something might be in the opposite direction of something else it is going for something positive, not being motivated from the negative. Motivation by negatives is one of the sources of suffering referred to in Buddhism (and other wisdom disciplines); it is also not Rational Thinking, as we must go toward something we want, constructing a map to get us there; yes, in that case you will be leaving something else behind and in effect "going away from" something, but the motivation for doing so is positive not negative.
When we do take personal responsibility we are all adding to going a positive direction. When we are in conflict we are burning off our energy but getting nowhere (picture two wrestlers pushing against each other versus simply pairing up to go the same direction; notice the difference in progress!!!).
Solutions show up whenever people are taking responsibility. Persisting problems are a sure sign of not-responsibility.
TOUGH LOVE: IS IT BAD OR IS IT EFFECTIVE?
Love is appreciating and valuing another while not making them wrong and acting in harmony with that person's good interests.
Loving someone as they are is good. Enabling a person to do themselves harm is harmful, not good.
"Oh, I see you are drug addicted. I love you anyway." might be not helping the person toward what is better for them.
While you are not required to help anybody else, if you want to be of benefit, you would always try your best to better their interests. Letting them suffer the consequences of their actions teaches them to be stronger and to correct situations and does not rescue them from solving things on their own and developing strength and confidence that they can deal with life. The latter begets dependency - and people suffer emotionally from a lack of self effectiveness plus getting fewer and fewer good results for themselves.
[Of course, if it is life threatening, you'd have to do a rescue, but you are not doing them a favor by your attempting on their behalf to relieve their suffering and the natural consequences of life. It is sometimes hard to distinguish this and draw a clear line, but that is what true, effective love is: doing no enabling of dependency, no rescues from consequences, nothing that gets in the way of their developing their own strength to deal with life effectively. In short, you draw the line right after limiting it to saving from actual physical harm - and that's it. No sympathy, no enabling, period. Yes, you can do things that benefit them and are kind, but be sure it is not absolving them of responsibility and strength building.]
SO, LET'S SEE HOW THIS APPLIES TO OBAMA
Highlight and print out the indicators section above and then apply it to what shows up in Obama's world:
- He advocates, at his speech in Tucson, "civil speech" and then doesn't follow it. "Fat cats",
- The rich are not paying their fair share.
- Singling out as cause the top "1%", helping to fuel division from the "other 99%" (Notice that we are getting 'victim' protests in occupying various cities, where they are objecting to the 1%, unfairness, the fat cats on Wall Street, even CEOs of businesses are held to be bad - all conversations that a true leader should correct and also never start)
- Blaming the Republicans for holding him hostage, instead of simply acknowledging there were two sides and lack of agreement is the responsibility of each side (i.e. it's their fault for not agreeing with me and they "should"). "The Republicans made me do it."
- He "relieves students of a portion of their debt", as a "good guy", without considering the long term consequences that other people will have to make up for that money not coming in. Another way of saying this is "I relieve you from the responsibility of paying debts you've incurred. It's unfair for you to be so burdened. I am going to do this because those heartless Republicans will not do what is right."
- I will address how to solve Social Security and Medicare problems, and then he never does.
- "We have big deficits that must be solved," then he submits a budget that does not deal with it at all (which is voted down 97-0 in the Senate).
- Excuses along with blame of others: Steve Jobs was "infuriated" by Obama's excuse-making.
- He doesn't teach or advocate self reliance and encourages others to fight for their "rights" (extending the idea to being entitled or being "given to" rather than their rights to agreed benefits, freedom, and opportunity.
- He characterizes business as "bad"
- He persists in engaging in fights and seldom sits down to work toward compromise, and when he does, he blames the other side for compromising adequately.
- A persisting problem of lack of certainty and an atmosphere that is not business friendly
These are but a few of the many indicators, but he is not just a "little bit pregnant" as he engages in irresponsibility and poor leadership quite a bit of the time. Or, as those who have worked with him say that when he is there "there is no adult in the room."
(It is not my intent to oppose him, for I am "for" him in his generally good intent and smartness [though he clearly lacks the requisite skills to be President]. He, for some reason, is driven to be irresponsible in the regard to carrying out the duties of the President and/or due to his philosophies related to his being a community organizer and to "redistributing income".)