In this letter, I would like to kindly share with you some things about taking responsibility for yourself, and for your life. Somehow, many of us, as young black men, did not acquire a healthy attitude towards self-responsibility. Frankly, many of us are afraid of responsibility. Obviously, there are some who are not afraid of responsibility. But many of us are. And the lack of this one quality can handicap you throughout your life.
I believe that the main reason why many of us as young black men do not have a healthy attitude towards self-responsibility is because we have never been taught it, and because, we have not seen it exemplified by many older black men. Most of us have seen our black women take responsibility, but seldom have we seen our black men do so. This is a tragedy.
The quality of taking responsibility does not come naturally. It has to be taught — more by example than by anything else.
A second reason why we do not take responsibility for our lives as we should is because self-responsibility goes against human nature. Taking responsibility does not come easy. It is human nature, and much easier to be irresponsible than responsible. It is easier, but not better, to have the attitude that the world owes you something — when it does not! It is easier, but not better, to let others take care of you. It is easier, but not better, to be an employee and not the boss. (Believe it or not, being the boss is much more difficult than being the employee. Why? Because the boss is responsible for everything.) It is much easier, but not necessarily better, to stay single even if you do not have the gift of celibacy, than to get married. But staying single and having sex and having babies is irresponsible as well as destructive to so many lives including your own. It is far better to make a commitment to someone special, be responsible, get married, have children, and take care of your family. And may I say being married with children takes a mature and responsible person.
Now below are some of the dangers of not taking responsibility for ourselves and our lives:
1. You will live a sad life, constantly having to blame others for your failures and problems. But this will just make matters worse. The problem, son, is “the man in the mirror.”
2. You will live a life of constantly being a follower and not a leader, because a leader must take responsibility for himself and others.
3. You will live a pathetic life, constantly depending on other people.
You may not be a completely responsible person now, but the good news is that you can be. Here is the main way that you and I can do that:
By simply making a firm resolute DECISION to be responsible for yourself, your life and for those God places under your care. Always remember that much of life is a matter of decisions. Whatever you are, whatever you are doing, and whatever you become, will rest largely upon the decisions that you make in life. Not only is “knowledge power,” but “decision is power” as well. Decisions are powerful for good or bad. At every issue in life, and at every crossroad, take the high road of self-responsibility.
If you need more money, get a job. No excuses! Just get a job. Don’t have car insurance? The law requires that you have it. Get the insurance or stop driving. A bill is due? Either pay it or call the people and make other arrangements. No excuses! Just do it! Have you found the right lady that God wants you to marry? Don’t shirk! Don’t jive! Don’t hee-haw and mee-maw! Take responsibility and marry the girl, and then take responsibility and take care of her and the children. No excuses! Just do the right thing.
Take responsibility for all that you do, all that you say and all that you are, and never blame anyone else for your situation.
P.T.: Colin L. Powell said, “Success is the result of hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.”
John Maxwell said, “Image is what people think we are; integrity is what we really are.”
Billy Graham said, “Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”