Thursday, March 29, 2012

Personal responsibility

While driving to work this morning I was struck with the realization that many of the driver’s around me were driving quite fast for the road conditions.  This thought led me to thinking about how many times I and others abdicate their personal responsibility.  This morning on the highway, the speed limit warning lights were not on, which could led people to believe the highway conditions were fine to go the normal speed (or above.)  My personal opinion was, the roads were not safe to drive 65 on, so I slowed down allowing others to pass me.
In this electronic age where we have alarms and reminders to tell us just about everything we need to know, the tendency to rely on something other than ourselves is a huge temptation.  It is easy for me to “blame” something or someone else for not “reminding” or “prompting” me to action.  This is not to say for time and millennia people have relied on alarm clocks to wake them in the morning, but what I am saying is we have become too reliant upon others making decisions regarding our personal safety.  My parents always taught me to watch out for the other driver when behind the wheel, to pay attention to the side of the road, not just what was directly in front of me.  As people sped past me I thought about how I did not feel safe at the higher speed and did not need a blinking speed limit sign to slow me down, I was taking personal responsibility.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate having alarms, reminders, blinking lights and buzzers warning me of impending danger, but I am making a decision to not abdicate my personal responsibility to taking care of myself.  Over the past few years I have tried to live conscientiously.  Meaning I try to make certain I have made a conscious decision about each of my actions, even if that decision is “I’m not deciding, just doing as I feel.”  By living in this manner, I cannot blame anyone but myself for most of life situations.  If I remain overweight, then it is a result of a conscious decision to not eat well or exercise.  If I choose to blow my money on “wishful” things leaving me short for necessities, then such is my fate.
I guess what this boils down to for me, is once again living life with purpose.  Notice I did not say living life with “A Purpose,” but rather “with purpose” or “on purpose.”  I see a difference, subtle though it may be.  I want to be able to take the twists and turns I encounter with a sense of joy and perseverance, but not be so purpose driven I miss the fun offered on a short detour.  If I detour or caused to be detoured, I want to do this with my eyes wide open and my brain engaged.  I want to be conscious of my surroundings and take responsibility for myself, even when subjected to situations caused by others; I still have control of my reactions.
As always, this and $2.50 will get you whatever you want, that is if you choose to spend the money!

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