Taking Responsibility for Your Actions


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There is a story in Islamic folklore where an Angel, who is guarding the gates of Heaven, asks a man why he had sinned. The man replied, “I was poor and oppressed by evil men and did what I had to do in order to survive.” The Angel asks, “Did God not make the Earth large enough for you to escape evil men?”

This parable illustrates the astounding human ability to rationalize bad behavior. Everyday, we witness people who are so stuck in their past that they can see neither their present nor future. They blame their willfully irresponsible actions on someone else and/or something that happened in their past. “My daddy left… so I am promiscuous.” “My mom isn’t home enough… so I do drugs.”

Instead of embracing the autonomy and independence that comes with owning the responsibility for their life, for their future, and for their destiny; they take solace in their perceived powerlessness. It is far easier to fall helplessly into one bad situation after another than to analyze ones own negative actions as they are happening and refrain from engaging in that thought process ever again.

There are thousands of Instagram memes, Facebook statuses and Tweets dedicated to the “haters,” frenemies or some other perceived oppressions by an easily avoidable entities; but how often do these ranters admit to being poor judges of character or to being blinded by their own self interests? Rarely to never.

In the end, only you can affect you. You always have a choice. Be calm. Be insightful.

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