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Are you Responsible, or are you to Blame?

Taking Responsibility increases your Inner Power...

Reverend Martin Niemoeller was a Lutheran minister imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp by the Nazi Gestapo in 1938. After being freed by the Allied forces, he wrote this insightful report on his experience:
"They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
Is taking responsibility the same as taking the blame? Let's explore the crucial difference...

Are You Involved?

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If you're involved in something, then to some extent you're responsible. Since you're living on this earth, then the secret of success is to see you have some responsibility towards the earth. As Eldridge Cleaver succinctly said:

"If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem."

Reverend Niemoeller was part of the problem because he had declined to be responsible for the solution. Does this mean he was to blame? Absolutely not. Yet did he have any responsibility in the matter? Wasn't he responsible for his lack of action? They eventually came for him, and by then there was no one left to do anything about it.
Chalk-board be Responsible for the Solution
Taking responsibility involves recognizing that you are involved in some way. If everyone did what you are doing, would the problem get smaller or larger? Spend some time reflecting on your answer to this vital question!

If it would get smaller then you are contributing to the solution. If the problem would get larger, then you can help avoid this by recognizing your responsibility in the matter. Ask yourself:

"Is the way in which I am involved contributing to the problem -
or to the solution?"

When are you to blame? Many people think that blame recognizes some action of yours has directly caused a problem. Others say blame includes indirectly caused, as well as directly. Some even consider that blame can also cover whether your action was premeditated or accidental.

Blame usually involves some close if not direct relationship to the cause of the problem. It's a judgment, rather than simply an assessment or an observation of what is so. What happened and what it means - which you choose from
your context - are very different, even though people regularly confuse the two. The secret of success is to recognize the difference.

Is it a Judgment - or an Assessment?

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  • An observation is a statement of fact, of what is so. An observation uses neutral language to avoid the pejorative, and to refrain giving it any meaning. It says nothing about whether you and/or your action are effective or ineffective; good or bad; right or wrong.
  • An assessment goes further. It does assess whether your action is effective, or ineffective, in reaching the desired goal. Yet an assessment also refrains from moral judgement. It also avoids good or bad, right and wrong.
  • A judgment goes on to add meaning; good or bad, right or wrong. Yet different things have different meanings for different people. And few people share exactly the same moral values, which helps explain why arguments are so common!
For more empowering insights on judgment, search on the word judgment in the Google Custom Search box at the top of this page...

Are You Responsible?

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Be Responsible by helping keep our Earth Green
Responsibility is very different to being at fault. Nor is it the same as being right or wrong. Responsibility is also different to blame, praise, guilt, burden, credit, or shame.

Taking responsibility is NOT saying that the situation is either good or bad, or what you did is either right or wrong. It's rather an assessment of what is so, and what your current take on the situation is.

Responsibility starts when you acknowledge that you are responsible - 100% responsible - for your part in the matter. That your actions - or inaction - have made a contribution in some way, no matter how small.

No one can make you responsible, nor can you make someone else responsible. But being responsible is where you begin to
change your life. It’s a stand which gives you an empowering say in life - in your own life!

Does authority comes with responsibility? The
secret of success is to realize that if you have authority for an area then you need to take responsibility for the outcome. This applies to the work-place environment, to yourself and even to others.

Make the Highest Choice

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It’s empowering to ask yourself what is your highest and best choice in the matter? This may be to do nothing – when putting time and energy into this would detract from your other meaningful activities.

Or perhaps you do need to put some effort into the solution. If you are not prepared to do this, and your energy is not going into equally valuable activities, then it would be helpful for you to recognize your responsibility in the matter. To recognize that your
self sabotage is part of the problem!

Freedom to be yourself in a personal sense involves taking responsibility for yourself and your actions. The questions
Life Strategies recommends you ask here revolve, crucially, around choosing what you want to be before choosing what to do. The secret of success is to ask yourself:

  • How can I live up to my highest potential?
  • What would love - rather than fear - do now?
These questions are very different to asking yourself, What would I like to do? or, What do I feel like doing? Your answers here will let you know what to do, and how to be.

The older you are, and the more mature you have become, the more authority you take over yourself and your actions. With that authority comes responsibility for your actions.

Take Back Your Power

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Responsibility starts when you decide to accept that I, and no one else, got me into this situation. Others have contributed, but you got yourself here. Some time ago, you initiated the steps that resulted in you being here - of your own volition. This secret of success may be difficult to accept, yet consider the benefits, the possibilities such acceptance brings ...
Powerless Bound Hands show you Decline to be Responsible
Without power, you're powerless! Taking responsibility reclaims the personal power you need to do something about it. Unless you do this, the power in these circumstances rests with others - not you. So, when you want a situation to change, take responsibility for it!

When you say "I'm responsible," this empowers you in the situation and you have a say in the matter. When you are
aware that your actions - or inaction - helped cause it, you can change it. But if you’re unwilling to take responsibility, how can you blame others?

Contribute to the Solution

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Only when you can accept that you are responsible can you change anything. If you didn't contribute to the cause, if you had no part in it, then how can you change it? So reclaim your inner power! Then contribute to the solution.

When you accept responsibility, you also accept that you created your current situation - what you have, what you do, and what you are. The
secret of success is to see that neither you nor anyone else is to blame. Reality is what it is. Then you can deal with the circumstances, no matter what they are, and you empower yourself to move forward.

No one can can make you responsible, it's a stance that you choose when you want circumstances to change. Nor can you make someone else responsible. All you can do is have compassion for their stance, knowing that whatever is holding them back is real to them. The irony is that only when they let go and accept responsibility will they regain the power to improve their circumstances.

Yet if this wasn’t already abundantly clear to you, what else but your
self sabotage mechanism could have stopped you from reaching this conclusion?

Food for Thought

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"Where you are headed is more important than how fast you are going. Rather than always focusing on what's urgent,
learn to focus on what is really important."

Stephen Covey, MBA, American author, speaker, management consultant

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