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The Buck Stops Here!
Interesting phrase - but what does it mean?
The money doesn't get beyond
Or perhaps, accountability by taking personal responsibility. That means there's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, I'm the one who has to fix it, but it also means the rewards are mine too!
In life there are many occasions where it is easy to pass on the problem for someone else to fix - perhaps you don't get paid enough to fix the problems or someone higher up the chain gives the orders. But, what about your life in general - when you are in deep do-dah, is your first reaction to look for someone else to fix it, or do you start digging your way out? Do you stand there wailing and screaming, looking for someone to blame or do you use whatever resources you have to find a solution?
In many of the wealthier societies, there are safety nets to catch us throughout our life, whether this is money if you don't have a job, healthcare for the sick, emergency services, legal aid or caring parents. We are blessed as we grow, knowing that there is someone there to help us if we fall, to pick us up and patch us up, give a hand out or fix our problems. Our parents provide us with the nurture and care to help us feel secure and reach our fullest potential. They encourage us to get up from crawling on our hands and knees, but what practice do we really get at standing on our own two feet. If we aren't naturally inclined towards independence do we tend to lean on others for support rather than "do it all ourselves"?
It is only when we put ourselves outside the safety zone in some way that we really get to understand what "personal responsibility" means. Both in costs as well as rewards.
For some this may be setting off to explore the world and entering a hostile environment. If you live in a city and your car breaks down - you could just call up a breakdown service on your mobile phone or thumb a lift. Call a mate, call your folks, stand by the open bonnet looking helpless - there are plenty of options and one of them is sure to get you home. But if you set off into the wilderness, your phone probably won't work, there is no breakdown service, there isn't likely to be any passing traffic - so if your car won't go, you most likely have a choice of getting yourself out or dying! Wailing about the car or the lack of phone service, won't keep you alive, but the tank of water you thought to pack or the emergency beacon might. With an attitude that expects someone else to fix things when they're broken, there usually goes an assumption that there will always be someone else there to turn to. But what if there isn't?
My most defining moment in personal responsibility was my first solo flight. I may have been trained and had satisfied the instructor that I could do it, but it wasn't until I was the only one in the plane at a thousand feet that it really hit me - "Oh sh..t, oh sh..t, oh sh..t, I'm on my own!!!!". It was entirely up to me whether I got down on the ground in one piece or as a squidgy mess. My life was literally in my own hands. I couldn't just get out and do something else - other than free fall parachuting. Well, no, I couldn't even do that because they don't give you parachutes! I couldn't phone home and say "Mum, Dad, come and get me!", so I just had to put the lid on the panic and rely on myself.
Why did I do it? Yes, that is the question that I was asking myself at that moment. Well, the sense of achievement, not to mention the adrenaline rush from that particular incident, far outweighs any virtual reality experience from video games or reality TV. Living my own life is far more fun than watching someone else's. It was my experience, my reward, my consequences - I did that!
My point is that it is really easy, when we live in a society that generally takes care of us, to just expect it to always be there. To lean on it without question, to crawl when we could walk tall, to settle for a limited horizon, when we could enjoy a better view. While most people look on the safety net as just that - something to catch you if you really come unstuck, there is a growing expectation of living a life totally within the safety net. Of remaining in a child like unawareness from personal responsibility and of experiencing life through a virtual reality.
I'm not advocating that we all take up extreme sports or measure ourselves with endurance tests, but maybe it's time to look at our lives in the context of the society we live in and re-evaluate.
Do you expect someone to pay you a wage/the dole or do you expect to earn it?
Do you entertain yourself or expect someone or something to entertain you?
Do you expect someone else to save your life, if you take an overdose of "recreational" drugs?
Do you expect your spouse to pick you up because you're too drunk to get yourself home?
Do you expect your parents to pay your bills, because you don't have any money?
Do you blame someone else, if your life is not going how you'd like it?
Is life something you live or just read about on getalife.com?
OR LEAVE THE CONSEQUENCES
FOR SOMEONE ELSE?