Responsibility is a critical ingredient to a balanced and functional free society. Unfortunately, lack of responsibility is a significant portion of why our country is struggling. Irresponsibility permeates our entire culture.
Thus, an important piece to solving some of our problems is to improve responsibility. As I mentioned in my original letter on the 3-R’s, not all of our responsibility issues are connected to our decisions or personal choices.
Sometimes life just punches us in the stomach. However, we still have the opportunity on how we respond. Personally, I have found in order to move from victim to victor starts with a decision. It starts from the inside-out.
In order to move progressively toward being more responsible, two things are needed: One, acceptance and ownership of our choices. Secondly, having the courage to follow through on our commitments and promises.
The famous quote from Sir Winston Churchill is true: “Courage is the most important human quality, because it guarantees all others.” Of course this is easier when we are experiencing success. It is when we struggle and are challenged that we have become so deflective and dismissive of our responsibility. Like many things, being responsible should begin on an individual basis. Starting with little things and progressing to a more complete responsibility level.
The following thoughts are something I used with our teams. I cannot remember where we got it, but it is a good individual perspective on Responsibility.
About being champions
This is the beginning of a new day. This day has been given to me to use, as I will, I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, not loss; good, not evil; success, not failure; in order that I shall not regret the price I have paid for it.
The price to be a Champion is Responsibility!
Life is based on the fact that anything worth getting is hard to get. There is a price to be paid for anything. Scholarship can only be bought at the price of study; skill in any craft or technique can only be bought at the price of practice; and eminence in any sport can only be bought at the price of training and discipline.
We aren’t responsible for all the things that happen to us, but we are for the way we behave when they happen.
Unless you try to do something beyond what you already have mastered, you will never grow.
Probably the greatest discovery anyone can make is that we can change our life for the better, by changing our immature, negative attitudes to mature, constructive attitudes.
We live in the direction of our thought patterns. Let us have high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.
To champion something is to fiercely protect, defend or advocate for it. May we all fiercely champion to be responsible!
Ed Weidenbach is a former college men’s basketball coach of 22 years.