“If each of us would only sweep our own doorstep, the whole world would be clean.” – Mother Teresa
Personal Responsibility Has Disappeared
We live in a world where people want to pass the buck and assign blame on others. We see it in our families, our churches, our communities, and our government. We all play the blame game, but in the end, nothing is fixed. No great accomplishment can be achieved.
Why is this? Why can’t people stop blaming each other and start leading? It’s hard to diagnose. Maybe it’s a societal trend. Perhaps those of us in any type of leadership role have done a poor job of teaching this concept to those we lead.
It would seem that today’s leaders have created a culture that says ” … just trust me. I’ll take care of you.” Long gone is the philosophy of President Kennedy who said at the end of his inaugural address in 1961:
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own. In these turbulent times we currently find ourselves, now is the time, though, for a rebirth of personal responsibility.
Areas To Assume Personal Responsibility
There are many areas in which we can assume personal responsibility, but first, we must begin in the center and work outward.
You. You are the “center” of your world. If you are not assuming personal responsibility for living an excellent life, then how can you expect to lead others on that journey? Lead yourself first. Others will follow your example.
Once we have become self-disciplined and are pursuing personal excellence, then we can begin moving outside of ourselves and influencing others to do the same. The closer these other people are to us, the better. Start with your spouse and children, then move on to your close friends, those you may lead in the workplace, and acquaintances within your community.
As your influence grows with those around you, you may even see your sphere of influence expand out regionally, nationally, or even worldwide! Just remember that the possibility of a larger range of influence only comes when you are growing personally in this area.
Are You Pursuing Excellence?
How about you? Are you pursuing excellence in a mediocre world? Have you taken personal responsibility to lead a life of excellence? Are you attempting to lead others in this area? Are you starting with your immediate close circle of family and radiating outward into the rest of your world?
If we desire to have an impact in the world, we have to first start small and work our way outward. You can only inspire others when you are on the relentless path of excellence yourself.
As we prepare to enter a New Year in a few weeks, let’s all be committed to the relentless pursuit of excellence. Let’s make an impact in ourselves, families, communities, nation, and the entire world!