My personality is like this quote from Joe E. Lewis, “you only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough…”
Responsibility denotes ones own ability to accept, absorb and learn from their decisions. This often takes place when a person finds themselves at a “crossroads” in life. A traumatic incident may have taken place, for example, a death of a loved one or loss of job. These incidents evoke a stress response in the neurological system, causing systemic results in the mind, body and spirit. As the person goes through the transformational process of full acceptance of ones own behavior or situation in life, they become responsible for their personality. (This could take years, decades, a life time or never at all.)
Here is my perspective:
People in western Society don’t like reality. The acceptance of who they are, because we are really good at developing extensions of ourselves. Ie, business, blogging, inventions etc. Our extensions allow us to analyse and distract us from the core of who we are. The real problem facing the world today. We can be all connected virtually at any moment, and yet we have digressed in our own understanding of our responsibilities. We can live in alternative realities of what it means to be human, male, female, black, white, successful, etc.
We tend to accept the illusion that we are above culture, that somehow our understanding of ourself comes from a higher power. As someone who’s worldview and belief system is shaped by my identity in a Anabaptist/Mennonite faith tradition. I do believe in a higher power (God), however, in my work with Christians, I am finding an unwillingness to accept our own limitations, as well as possibilities for greatness. (The word greatness needs work, I am not able to go into for this blog post.)
For example: I have notice this from my own personal development and work with organizations and individuals. There is a tendency to slip into the comfortable understanding of self as just made up from the values of our culture. This is just one small example: Our culture values what we buy, because our broader society values the consumptions of goods and services. Therefor, my identity becomes shaped by where I shop, who I support financially etc. This is not wrong, but it does not make up the some of all our parts a citizens of the world, in our own particular tribe, family and business. This can be found in where we live, the church we go to, the places we shop, and the name on our bank account.
My suggestion is we all take small steps toward responsibility for our personality. We must stop thinking we can change the world and start believing we can be apart of the greatest transformation to ever happen in human civilization. I am talking about the illumination of all mankind. That we are all connected and who I am, what I do actually matters. It does, just look at your neighbor, or the person who washes the dishes at the restaurant you frequent.
Over time, a long period of time, individually and collectively we can have a reorientation of character. We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds – scripture.
Here is the question:
How are you oriented right now and what are small steps you can take to reorient toward responsibility today?
According to wikipedia‘s definition of Character Orientation:
Receptive Orientation: People who are passive.
What are you asking from someone that you can be responsible for?
What can you do right now to become responsible?
Hoarding Orientation: People collect and keep stuff they don’t need
What are things you do not use you can get rid of this week?
Marketing Orientation: Who are you trying to sell?
To take a step today, I would suggest asking the question:
What/Who am I investing in?
This blog was inspired by my investment in my own personal understanding and responsibility for decisions and outcomes I find less desirable. We all have a shadow mine tends to be narcissistic, impulsive, unfocused, rebellious, undisciplined, possessive, manic, self destructive, and restless. This is true, just ask my wife or colleges over the past 10 years. However, with that said I have a radical belief that we are living in and out of a story. My story is not over, but it has meant taking responsibility for my personality. Understanding my strengths, my unique contribution to my wife, daughter, family, friends, colleges, partners, congregation, community and world.