Is the notion of personal responsibility dying in America? In our culture, there seems to be a growing need to blame someone or something else for things that go wrong. Finger pointing and the blame game are commonplace, from our leadership down to the individual level someone somewhere is passing the buck. How many times have you heard the excuse, “Not me or not my problem?” Unfortunately, this “not-me’ism” is creating a huge problem for all of us, and it will take a change in mindset to resolve.
“When you point your finger at someone, anyone, it is often a moment of judgment. We point our fingers when we want to scold someone, point out what they have done wrong. But each time we point, we simultaneously point three fingers back at ourselves.” – Christopher Pike.
Think about those words carefully. These days, many people in our society believe they are not responsible for the choices they make, including the consequences of those choices made. Examples abound everywhere: on the personal level with decisions we make daily; on the corporate level with ethical lapses that end up spread across headlines; at the government level where finger pointing has replaced deliberative discussion and dialogue, creating gridlock.
Along with this growing “not me” attitude is the “us vs. them.” “They” are always at fault—that convenient group that’s always available anytime, anywhere to take the blame so that the fault is never with “me” or “us.” As individuals and as a nation, we need to make responsibility and accountability a priority to turn around this epidemic of “not me’ism.” Enough is enough!
True leaders stand up and say, “The buck stops here.” They realize the negative impacts of passing blame, and willingly accept and live the principle of personal responsibility. While others finger point and blame one another because no one wants to own a problem, strong leaders understand it’s everyone’s problem, and that it’s a call to action. It’s time to move from victimhood to empowerment.
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