The quote today comes from Jeffrey Gitomer, who says “It ain’t the rain, the snow, the boss, the competition, the spouse, the money, the car, the job, or the kids – It’s YOU! And it always has been.”
Now to me that makes perfectly logical sense, but having said that, I often hear people complaining about whatever using the above excuses! Come on now, be honest – I am sure that you have too.
It’s all about taking responsibility and being accountable for your own actions (and thoughts too) and how many of us actually do that?
I was chatting to my friend Rachel Van Doorene of Woman Inc the other day and we were discussing morals and so on and she asked the question “how do you teach children what is right and what is wrong and responsibility?”
Well, that for me is an easy one – you see, I believe that we as individuals know somewhere deep inside of us, even as children whether what we are doing is right or wrong. How we act on that knowledge is, of course, a whole different discussion and one that we can perhaps have another time.
Think about it for a moment – when we are late for an appointment and speeding down the road, we know for sure, that what we are doing is wrong and that should we be caught, that there is a consequence. Yet how many times, when we have been caught and issued with the consequence, being a ticket – we say “Bloody traffic cops, have they got nothing better to do than to trap. . . . !” Well actually daarrlliinngg – it’s our own fault and we have no-one else to blame, but ourselves! Yet the last person that we seem to blame is ourselves! Bit of a cop-out don’t you think!
I grew up on a huge farm in the then Rhodesia, my parents died when I was quite young, but I remember many of the lessons that my father taught me.
One of them was responsibility. We hunted ‘for the pot’ and fished ‘for the pot’. Animals were killed quickly and humanely and their carcasses were treated with dignity and respect. Let me explain. When I was about six years old, it was deemed that I was now old enough to go on the hunt with my father – a rare treat I might add. At that point, I was already used to handling guns and was quite a good shot. I could also drive the ‘willies’ jeep (blocks were attached to the pedals and I sat on a wooden box on the seat) and the tractor (again wooden blocks) pulling a long trailer on which the tobacco and maize were transported to the barns. Anyway, I digress.
Off we went at dusk, and I very excitedly followed my fathers lead – I was very clearly warned that whatever I killed, I would have to carry back to the jeep, I would be responsible for skinning, gutting, and cleaning the animal and I would be responsible for cutting it up. You see, if I took the life of an animal, it was then my responsibility to care for the remains of that animal. I took this warning very seriously and managed to ‘bag’ a duiker.
I clearly remember my father, placing the animal across my shoulders, as I had to carry it back to the jeep. As we trudged back carrying the various animals that had been ‘bagged’, the trail that the hooves of the duiker make in the earth, remains with me to this day.
I remember the pride that I felt as when we got home, and I cleanly opened the stomach of the carcass, my father lifting out the still-warm liver and rubbing it over my face as I was ‘bloodied’ after my first kill. We celebrated that night (as we did after every hunt) and gave thanks for the food that would grace our table and the animals whose lives we had taken in order for us to have that food to eat.
Yes, I did get to cut the carcass up, under the guidance of my father. We cut the portions and put them into the deep freeze and whenever we ate a portion, a great fuss was made about how it was my first kill, and how I had carried it myself and skinned and gutted it myself and how I had cut up the portions myself, and even how I had taken responsibility for the life that I had taken.
Taking responsibility is not always a pleasure – as it was in this case. Sometimes taking responsibility can be a very hard thing to swallow – like going to jail, or losing a loved one, but it is nevertheless the right thing to do, the honorable thing to do.
So the next time it is on the tip of your tongue to blame someone else for your action or inaction or thought – remember, it was your choice to start off with.
The blame, the responsibility, the accountability rests with you.