Personal Responsibility

I recently stumbled onto an article appearing in The Economist, I found it both amusing and tragic. But prompts the question of personal responsibility.

Mr. Caesar Barber, an obese man, sued McDonald’s and other fast-food firms for making him fat.

Their crime, according to Mr Barber, was the withholding of nutritional information from their customers. “They never explained to me what I was eating,” he said. Mr Barber’s case was dismissed. In response to the frivolous lawsuit, 26 American states adopted the “Commonsense Consumption Acts” more commonly known as the “Cheeseburger Bills.”

I initially chuckled at the naming of the bill, it is pretty comical. But the premise of the bill, reminds me of the very important process towards growth and maturity – developing personal responsibility.

How do you define personal responsibility?

Many people associate responsibility with duty and obligations that thought or approach can sometimes feel as burdens. Personal responsibility is not a burden but a blessing. It’s only when we can understand that personal responsibility is nothing other than the freedom to create our own lives. And responsibility is equated with freedom and power. Once we become aware, we shed our victim mentality and gain the power to transform ourselves and our lives.

What does it mean?

For me, to accept personal responsibility is to accept that you are the one solely responsible for the choices in your life. Some may influence you, others may coerce you. But in the end, you made the choice and you are responsible for it. We, not other people or events, are responsible for the way we think and feel. It is our life, and we are in charge of it. Free to choose, enjoy or disdain.

“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility.” – Albert Einstein