In the end, I am only responsible for what I do.
I can make sure my kids are raised with my values and principles, but that doesn’t guarantee they will follow when they’re grown.
I can let people know when they are doing the wrong thing, and refuse to go along, but if they have adopted a different value system they won’t necessarily accept mine.
I can try to lead by example and try to inform people so they may realize things they had never before considered, but I can’t force anyone to learn anything they don’t wish to learn.
I can do my best, yet it is not my responsibility when anyone else continues down the wrong path.
When it comes right down to it, you can make only yourself do what you know to be right.
But while I am only responsible for me, I am fully responsible for me.
If I do the wrong thing, I can’t blame it on a bad “law” or on the expectations of other people.
It isn’t circumstances that cause one to attack the innocent or steal, or to accept property that others have stolen on your behalf.
The requirements of a job don’t excuse any unethical actions, nor does the support of “the majority.” Making up different names for coercion or theft doesn’t magically make wrong become right.
On one hand, it is a heavy burden to refuse to blame others for your actions, but on the other hand it is quite liberating to realize it is pointless to accept the blame for other people.
To further lighten your load, be mindful of all you do.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, but it seems a lot of people “get it,” even if they feel unable to express themselves openly around their peers.
Almost every week I have at least one person approach me to thank me for saying what they are thinking. That this many are seeing through the smoke and mirrors of the State is inspiring.
Maybe eventually enough people will realize there is strength in being right, and that we are millions strong — one at a time, and the institutionalized theft and coercion will no longer be tolerated.
But if not, the more of us who refuse to do the wrong thing, even when acceptable, the better society will become.
The tipping point is approaching. Help bring it on by accepting the responsibility for all you do.
Kent McManigal is a freelance writer who sometimes offers commentary on our websites. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org