This I Believe

Kimberly - n las vegas, Nevada
Entered on April 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Wow, an “I believe” essay. Okay. I can do this, not a problem. After all, how hard could this paper possibly be? That was what I thought last Tuesday night. Then I left the classroom and started thinking. Ok, I have strong beliefs in a lot of things. Now, guys, knowing you have these beliefs and selecting one to present to the class are two different things. I think partly because I have learned that I am always changing and growing. It took some time to decide what to put down on paper. It had to be something that I currently agree with and always would. I didn’t really want to bring up political or controversial subjects. This actually took a lot of thought. Then it occurred to me. To some extent I can thank my son for the revelation. In fact, I can thank him for a lot of my insights and inspirations. Amazing what a fresh untainted mind can do for your outlook. Probably one of the strongest beliefs that stuck out in my mind had to do with responsibility; or more specifically, taking responsibility for one’s actions, choices, and self. I believe that everyone should accept responsibility for themselves. This means realizing that I am in control of my destiny at all times, not the outside world and people in it. I always have a choice in the way that I act and react. After making choices, good or bad, that means owning up to them too. I have seen many people shift responsibility or blame so that it was on anyone but themselves. I have a huge issue with that. I decided to open my paper up with a quote.

So, I typed “responsibility quotes” in Google, and you’d be amazed at the responses. I didn’t even have to type the two words. After typing “responsibility,” the search engine actually had “responsibility quotes” as a choice. I decided to share a couple with you that made me laugh. 1.) “Responsibility: A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one’s neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star.” ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary. 2.) “You are not responsible for the programming you picked up in childhood. However, as an adult, you are one hundred percent responsible for fixing it.” ~Ken Keyes, Jr. 3.) Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. ~Erica Jong. 4.) Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it’s addressed to someone else. ~Ivern Ball. These are four of hundreds, if not thousands of quotes relating to responsibility. To me, this was rather comical. I feel that people in general, myself included, often have difficulty with the whole responsibility factor. I think this has actually been the hardest life lesson to teach my eight year old son. See, it is always someone else’s fault, that or they had a huge part in it. “But mom, they did this and said that first.” “Or, why do other people get to do this and that and why can’t I?” Trying to explain to him that he is responsible for himself regardless of who else does or says what, has been an uphill battle. Frankly, I can relate to that battle. Life often isn’t fair. It is very easy to get lost in the moment and not think some choices through before making them. The other hard part is accepting that I might be one of the only people around at the time that is practicing this belief. Don’t get me wrong, it can be tricky to remain in the driver’s seat of my life and not try to shift blame in other areas. After all, I don’t have control over other people and their actions. However, I still have the belief that I always have a choice; therefore I am responsible for every action and reaction that I put out into the world. That is a huge obligation, liability, responsibility, or whatever you want to label it. The best thing about this realization though, is that I am in charge of my own fate. Nothing anyone says or does can have negative or adverse effects on me or my life if I don’t allow it. I am in control of my destiny. Now, if I could just convince my eight year old.