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Saturday Musings - Taking Responsibility

20191130_responsibility There is meaning in taking responsibility.

Taking responsibility for your own life rather than blame everyone else for your circumstances is quite a novel concept for some individuals. After all, why make sensible decisions when you can blame it on your employer, the government or family members?

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My wife and I were watching the news the other day and “You’ve got to kidding me!” escaped from our lips several times. It seemed there was one article after another where people blamed everyone else for their situation.

The first was an automotive worker that was complaining because two years earlier the company he worked for had to close down production. He was complaining because since getting his generous pay-out he hadn’t been able to find a job with comparable conditions.

The reporter took the tack that the government should be doing something for this hard done by auto-worker. They even had a union official giving the guy a hug outside the closed down factory.

Let’s think about that for a minute. His previous company had CLOSED because it was unprofitable to do manufacturing in Australia due to the ridiculous benefits the workers received. Any company that offered comparable benefits would soon be out of business as well!

Essentially the auto-worker unions kept on demanding more and more until the car companies (they have all exited manufacturing from Australia) couldn't pay.....and you guessed it, they closed down. If the reporter was half decent they would have suggested the auto-workder demand reparations from the union rather than the government.

The second story was of a person complaining about how terrible it was going to be this summer due to bush fires and that the government should do something about it. Their house was in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by forest….

The last time I checked the government doesn’t have any control over lightning strikes and they should never control where people choose to live. Why is it that this person expected the rest of the community to shoulder the burden of responsibility for where they chose to live?

Just once I would like to hear a reporter say, "Do you feel that making the decision to live surrounded by trees was a good one?"

The third story was about a major bank that neglected to report to the authority’s 23 million international transactions over $10,000 each (under law they are obliged to). It just so happened the IT systems weren’t communicating correctly to the authorities.

What’s happened? The CEO and Chairman of the board (who both know nothing about IT) have resigned but I imagine the programmer and every manager between them, and the bank’s CEO are sitting pretty as they duck behind all the technical mumbo-jumbo. Why haven’t they come forward and said, “We made a mistake?”

The problem I see is that very few people are prepared to put themselves on the line and say, “It was my decision. I did this.” Each of these stories reflect a lack of taking responsibility for decisions. The one shining light were both the CEO and Chairman of the bank who took the attitude that the buck ultimately stops with them……and what do we do with such individuals? We fire them.

Rather than rewarding behaviour that accepts responsibility we punish it. In today’s work environment, if a boss asks the staff, “Who did this?” you can almost be guaranteed that punishment will follow. In this type of environment people become smart and before committing to any line of decision making, they first of all make sure their backside is covered. What’s the golden rule? Never make a decision yourself when a committee can do it for you.

Here’s the rub, there is a tremendous satisfaction to accepting responsibility for your own decisions. Responsibility gives meaning to your life and the more you accept the consequences of your own decisions the greater the meaning.

Also, by accepting responsibility you are saying that you can do something about your own circumstances rather than expecting someone else to do something for you. It’s liberating to feel like you’re back in control of your life rather than blaming everyone else for your woes.

This weekend I would encourage you to think about your own circumstances and ask yourself whether you are blaming others for your lot? Hopefully not but maybe it’s time to accept some responsibility and make decisions for the better.

Have a great weekend!
Michael
 

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Comments

Rawgi on 01 December 2019
Responsibility

This blaming attitude goes all the way to children blaming the parents for the way they turned out. Not changing the subject, but all parents can really do is set a good example and give the children the tools they need to be responsible, honest, caring adults with a conscience. The USA has the same auto market problem with overpaid workers blaming the companies for their losing work. companies can only raise prices to cover the wages and benefits so far, before they are out of business. Many people here recently lost their homes to fires fed by underbrush and people not keeping their property clear of fuel for fire, but they blame all others for their loss, bankrupting some. I feel they should be looking at how do we avoid these problems in the future. Like maybe don't demand large pay increases, clear your property or build in a safer location, in other words take responsibility. If you made a mistake, own up to it and be honest. Sorry if I just recited your blog Michael, but this reminded me of when I was raising my kids and would ask, "who did this? ", always was I don't know or not me, must have been someone else, so they all four paid for whatever had been done or not done.

On a side note, everyone wants more pay and benefits, but they don't seem to grasp that the money has to come from somewhere and usually shrinks your buying power a lot more than your pay increase. A vicious circle and you never get ahead.

This blaming attitude goes all the way to children blaming the parents for the way they turned out. Not changing the subject, but all parents can really do is set a good example and give the children the tools they need to be responsible, honest, caring adults with a conscience. The USA has the same auto market problem with overpaid workers blaming the companies for their losing work. companies can only raise prices to cover the wages and benefits so far, before they are out of business. Many people here recently lost their homes to fires fed by underbrush and people not keeping their property clear of fuel for fire, but they blame all others for their loss, bankrupting some. I feel they should be looking at how do we avoid these problems in the future. Like maybe don't demand large pay increases, clear your property or build in a safer location, in other words take responsibility. If you made a mistake, own up to it and be honest. Sorry if I just recited your blog Michael, but this reminded me of when I was raising my kids and would ask, "who did this? ", always was I don't know or not me, must have been someone else, so they all four paid for whatever had been done or not done. On a side note, everyone wants more pay and benefits, but they don't seem to grasp that the money has to come from somewhere and usually shrinks your buying power a lot more than your pay increase. A vicious circle and you never get ahead.
mgilmour on 03 December 2019

All great points!

All great points!
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