Responsibility is freedom

Responsibility is freedom. Doesn’t that sound so wrong? As adults we try to recreate our carefree childhoods – yearning for a week at a resort or dreaming of retirement.

So how can I say that responsibility is freedom? It’s freedom from being ruled by other people’s opinions and whims. It’s freedom from being a victim. It’s freedom to make your own life.

When I am responsible for my part in a situation, I am free to make that situation what I want it to be. No one else gets to tell me what the story is or how it’s going to play out.

Let’s say my bicycle is stolen. I can blame the thief for taking it (and yes, I do blame the thief for taking it – I only have to be responsible for my part of the situation). I can blame society for making it necessary for people to be thieves. I can blame God for making me a victim.

Or I can take responsibility for my part in it: lock up my bicycle; have the serial number registered; advocate for better law enforcement and bicycle enclosures, and consciously choose to let the situation be done.

If my boss criticizes my work, I can sulk and complain that he’s being unfair, or I can examine where I can take ownership for what’s being said and change for my own betterment.OwnIt

These are just tiny examples.

Because I am responsible for my life, I can make it anything I want it to be. I am not limited by the illusion that other people will or should determine how the world ought to be.

I give myself the power to write my own story and the freedom to write it how I want it to be.

A shout out to Dee whose comment under the post “I don’t know…” inspired this topic.

How to be powerful

It seems as if our society is fascinated by, even celebrates, destruction.

We have that awful term “shock and awe” from the second Gulf war. We have ____mageddon (here close to Toronto that would be snowmageddon for example) and ____apocalypse (What isn’t an apolcalypse these days? Zombies, turkeys, weather, shopping).

Popular news favors the unsavory and we’re deluged with images of war, violence, crime and other horrors. Insults, sarcasm, explosions, war games, gladiator sports and brawls pass as entertainment. We’re endlessly wowed with our own ability to destroy and be horrible.

Are we drawn to the power inherent in these destructive images; the power to turn our world upside down, to rip each other or a country apart, or freeze it in its tracks?

Is destruction powerful? No. Creation is the ultimate power.  

Which is more powerful? Hurting a person or animal or using love and patience to restore health and trust? Is it more meaningful to tear down a society or to build one? Which are more enduring? Works of beauty and skill or acts of vandalism and destruction?


Victory Hand

If I can choose my response to any situation – and I can, and so can you – then choosing optimism, hope and kindness is the constructive, powerful choice.

Being morally brave, standing up for what is right, taking the high road, building, growing, creating and being generous are the hallmarks of a powerful person.