This I Believe

Bobby - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 13, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

Responsibility of Taking Action

I believe we have to take responsibility for our actions or suffer the consequences. Without doing this, we are missing the lesson that life is teaching. I not only believe this, I try to live by it.

I am a drunk, I have cancer, and I need a job. How could this possibly happen to me? By not taking responsibility for my actions, it could very easily have happened. The idea that one can “do their own thing” and take no responsibility for their actions is prevalent with many people. The only problem with that is, if one drops the ball, someone else has to pick it up.

Nineteen years ago I walked into Alcoholics Anonymous for a drinking problem (calling it a problem is being kind). That night I picked up a white chip and made a decision to search for a new way of life. As frightening as this seemed, the thought of no change was even more upsetting.

If I had decided not to do this, my life would be profoundly different today. My marriage and job would certainly be gone and the relationship with my son would be almost nonexistent.

Fourteen years ago, I took CDL training to become a driver because I was not making enough money. This was a different way of life for me and learning to drive a truck was not easy, but few things worth doing are. This produced more money and I enjoyed my job and its benefits. I would ultimately need both.

About ten months ago, my doctor discovered I had cancer. The reason this was found is because I didn’t ignore a physical problem. When given options, I made the decision to go through six weeks of radiation and two weeks of chemotherapy. By acting on this, I was spared a very painful death.

Confronted with everyday problems, I would blame and accuse. Responsibility was a burden for me. I could not have cared less about that load falling to someone else.

By making a decision to be responsible for my life, things have changed. I discovered I had a living problem. Today I am still married to the woman I love and my relationship with my son is great. I have had the same job fourteen years and am now, for today anyway, cancer free. That white chip is still around also. Sometimes when I look at my wife or son, I think of it with a great deal of gratitude. Failure or success in my future will depend on actions taken by me. It is my responsibility to make those decisions.