When was the last time you heard a politician say, “I am the one responsible for this screw-up.”? Clinging to false narratives with blaming, excuses, no desired results, CYA mentality, justifying, lying, denying, spinning, and defending simply produces more of the same. And when the choice is to do more of the same, the country will stay where it is—divided and teetering on the brink of collapse.
Many folks act as if this formula were true: Desired Results = Not Desired Results + Excuses. If the shoe fits, request that you wear it! Stop spinning those wheels and make a conscious choice not to give away power and influence by passing the buck, blaming, and justifying. It is a waste of time! There is a unifying option and better strategy: commitment to the concept of 100% responsibility, life happens because of me not to me. [Hyler Bracey, Jack Rosenblum, Aubrey Sanford & Roy Trueblood, Managing from the Heart, 1990, Atlanta, GA: Heart Enterprises; and training handout, “100% RESPONSIBILITY,” The Atlantic Consulting Group, 1986]
The concept of 100% responsibility is simple: I am 100% responsible for what happens; and other people are not responsible; not 50-50; not 100-100. It is 100-0! There is no one else to blame. Whatever happens, I did it. Whatever the result, I created it. Accepting what happens if you are 100% responsible, and others are 0% responsible, empowers one as opposed to making one dependent on other people and events. Imagine the power of the country if everyone were assuming 100% responsibility for its success. Imagine how refreshing it would be for every American to be examining what they did and what they could do rather than wasting energy getting off the hook. Perhaps the greatest value in 100% responsibility is that the focus moves to producing desired results and not wasting time finding ways to avoid responsibility. [Hyler Bracey, Jack Rosenblum, Aubrey Sanford & Roy Trueblood, Managing from the Heart, 1990, Atlanta, GA: Heart Enterprises; and training handout, “100% RESPONSIBILITY,” The Atlantic Consulting Group, 1986.]
In Beyond Religion (2011, NY, NY: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 83), the Dalai Lama offers wisdom,
…if we are really interested in tackling our problems at their roots—whether we are talking about human conflict, poverty, or environmental destruction—we must recognize that they are ultimately related to issues of ethics. Our shared problems do not fall from the sky, nor are they created by some higher force. For the most part, they are products of human action and human error. If human action can create these problems in the first place, then surely, we humans must have the capacity as well as the responsibility to find their solutions. The only way we can put them right is by changing our outlook and our ways, and by taking action.
With a commitment to the mantra, “I am 100% responsible,” important steps will have been made to empower each of us, to heal our great country, and to move forward today for generations to come. It is certainly not catastrophic to accept responsibility, determine what the issue is, determine what needs to be done to fix it, fix it, and move on.