Start with Me, Start Now

Responsibility, as defined by Merriam-Webster online dictionary (m-w.com) 1: the state of being the person who caused something to happen, 2: a duty or task that you are required or expected to do, 3: something that you should do because it is morally right, legally required, etc.

Is this still the best definition for this word? Where can we find examples of this?

Let’s start with the leader of the free world, or our Congress? How about at the state or local level? In the private sector, large corporations or small businesses? What about education, schools and universities? What about at home? Many times, over many issues, it seems harder to me to find someone taking responsibility for a cause, an issue or a problem, than at any point in my life.

When did we move away from agreeing we had a problem on which we needed to work together to solve, to agreeing we had a problem and it is their fault? That I/we/our group is right and has the only answer on how to resolve it, while the other person/people/group is wrong and has no merit to anything they suggest?

How many examples of this immediately come to mind and relate to politics? Please, don’t get me started down that rabbit hole but many other instances can be found at work and even at home. Have you seen a school discipline a child or been to a child’s sporting event? When did parents stop working with those trying to help (with things we either can’t do or have not been willing to do) and start blaming the principal, the teacher, the coach, or the referees?

Yes, taking responsibility means at times we may have to suffer the consequences for making a poor decision, but we should learn from that. Learn from others. Stop making bad decisions and start making better decisions. And if you don’t know how, be responsible enough to ask someone to help.

Want to help build a stronger America? A better company? A better neighborhood and school? Take responsibility. Own it. Work together. The tone should be set at the top, but let’s not wait for that to happen. Let’s start with you, and me; with our children; with our employees. Let’s let others know what is expected of them and demonstrate it for them. Be the person that caused something to happen, because it is right.

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