Taking responsibility for our actions is not always easy to do. It is funny how you see someone go on about the enemies in her life, who have denied her the success she so deserves.
People spend more of their time and prayers focused on their enemies than on themselves. They cast and bind those enemies. They go to all lengths to unravel their enemies when all they need do is stand in front of the mirror and recognize the enemy before them. When we blame others, we become our own enemies.
We should learn always to take responsibility for our actions. When we take responsibility for our actions, it means the solution lies within us, but when we blame somebody else, it means that only the other person can find a solution to the issues.
If you fail at anything, accept it; learn from it. If you do not get a promotion, or even lose a job, find out what you did wrong. Learn from it to help you get the next promotion or to keep the next job. Do not blame your boss, your stepmother, half-brother or sister, the old woman in your village, your neighbor, your in-laws or the most-blamed devil. Just accept responsibility.
If we are not taught to take responsibility as children, we grow into adults who won’t take responsibility. Most of us struggled to get where we are today, and we want to protect our kids from the struggles of life–forgetting it was those struggles that helped make us who we are.
As parents, we have to allow our kids to be responsible for their actions. We have to allow them learn from their mistakes. There is no ideal world. They have to learn from the UNIVERSITY OF HARD KNOCKS i.e., LIFE. We cannot protect them from life; we have to allow them to live life.
A friend, whose 2-year-old son had broken his favourite cup, went to great lengths to find him a replacement, even to the extent of meeting the person who had given him the cup as a party favour.
I pointed out to her the need for allowing her child to be responsible for his actions. He breaks his cup, he loses it, and he learns that to keep a cup, he has to be careful with it.
I pointed out that unless there is a place where one can total one’s car and walk in and get a replacement free of charge, then she should let him learn by not providing a replacement.
Failure, they say, is not falling down. It is staying down.
People who take responsibility for their actions learn from their failures, and you rarely see them complaining. They are the ones who look as if everything goes smoothly for them. They never seem to have any problems.
So, the next time you feel the urge of blaming anyone else or making excuses why something is not going the way you want, just remember when you blame another you take away the power of solution from your hands.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our new writer in Nigeria, Aisha Yesufu.
As a trainer in intercultural communication and mom to multilingual children, I am always taught to accept other cultures, various ways of thinking and perspectives of looking at the world.
I may of course have a lot to learn about tolerance but I like to think that I’m doing a decent job at understanding all the different viewpoints. But there is a place where my tolerance stops.
One thing I have no understanding for is woo and quackery. The argument, “but indigenous tribes in enter-remote-location-here have been using this plant for ages and it cured all diseases” is useless when scientific research shows that said plant doesn’t work at all or can even be poisonous.
Unfortunately many people believe this stuff and it can have dangerous consequences. And then it gets worse.
Advocates of female circumcision claim that it’s a part of their cultural heritage and without it women feel they are not “real” women. But any cultural tradition that is based on suffering and disfigurement of the human body should be gotten rid of very quickly and no amount of cultural appreciation will suffice for me to accept such a tradition.
Let’s also remember that culture, while it brings people together and helps them get along better and makes sense out of their environment, can also smash our individualism and make us unhappy.
But as dangerous and untrue these claims are, it gets worse. Women get killed, raped, disfigured and humiliated every day. They are afraid to go out on the streets in the evenings; they take great care in picking their clothes out of fear of being proclaimed “indecent”.
In many parts of the world, people kill each other over cultural, religious or political differences which are often minor. In some parts of the world, certain people are considered worse than other people.
Should we just accept it as it is, saying, “It’s another culture, we shouldn’t do anything about it, we should just appreciate our differences”? I agree that cultural diversity is great- and I myself benefit tremendously from it. But shouldn’t we be drawing a line somewhere? And if so, where should we draw it?
In her book, “Medaliony”, Polish writer Zofia Nałkowska tries to make sense of what happened during WWII in Poland. She could have put blame on the Germans, the way many Polish people did and still continue to do today. But she didn’t. Instead, she wrote, “People prepared this fate for people”, or in a better translation, “humans prepared this fate for humans.”
I guess that line should be drawn when it’s not about cultural differences anymore. When the action in question can’t be explained by traditions, cultural heritage or tolerance. In short when it’s about humans hurting or killing other humans.
A common criticism of the understanding cultures approach is that deep inside, we are all the same. Of course there are some things that are universal: we are all humans, we have hearts and brains and skins. We’re so afraid that if we start mentioning our differences, we will start comparing ourselves to others and consider some of us better.
I beg to differ. Of course we are all humans and some of the things we do are universal. But the truth is that we are an extremely varied species, on a wide spectrum of sizes, skin colours, temperaments and cultural and social backgrounds.
Saying we are all the same eradicates the wonderful differences in us and I think that’s a shame. We are all humans and all different, and if one human kills another human it’s a tragedy.
Sadly, such tragedies happen all the time. Recently, the three boys: Eyal Yifrcah, Gil-Ad Shaer, and Naftali Fraenkel disapeared and were later found dead. The #BringBackOurBoys campaign, while beautiful, did nothing to revive them. Then, the flight MH17 crushed in Ukraine. Expatica Manager Antoine van Veldhuizen was on that plane. He and other victims of the plane crash will be hugely missed and the Netherlands are in mourning.
We like to say that humans are great with making sense out of tragedies. They need to feel that they suffered for a reason. Again, I beg to differ. Suffering and pain don’t make sense. We can certainly make sense out of them but to do so means to accept that and this is something I’ll never ever do.
Humans killing humans doesn’t make sense. And no amount of cultural appreciation classes or tolerance will convince me otherwise. Before you see someone as a part of a certain culture or religion, you’d better see the individual human first.
Our differences shouldn’t divide us. They should bring us together.
But above all, being different is no excuse to kill other people.Because nothing ever is an excuse to kill, nor should it be.
Instead, killing other people should be considered the shocking and saddening tragedy that it is and nothing should ever change that.
This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Olga Mecking, The European Mama, from the Netherlands.
Photo credit: DIBP images. This picture has a creative commons attribution license.
This week’s Friday Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Maggie Ellison. She asked our writers,
“In your opinion, or role as a parent, is spanking children an acceptable form of discipline?”
Here’s what some of our World Moms had to say…
Salma of Ontario, Canada writes:
“I have spanked my children, and it wasn’t the best option. I found that it is best to deal with each child based on his personality.
The times when I did spank it was out of fear (kids run into traffic etc). I realized that it was my fear that led me to REACT.
From my experience, spanking doesn’t empower children, so I don’t think it’s a good form of discipline.” (more…)