Friday, January 8, 2016

Be Responsible

(adapted from Phase 2 of Transformation from the Transformational Weekend with Deborah Williamson/Wild Abundant Life).

What does it mean to be responsible? Let's take the positive side of it, rather than the "I own my flaws, I own my mistakes, I own the error of my ways and my bad decisions." Let's rather, say, I've made choices to be where I am today. I didn't just "end up" here... I followed some sort of inner compass (properly calibrated or not), which bounced me into the trajectories of OTHER people using THEIR inner compasses (also, properly calibrated or not), and so, here I am.

But each thing I do from here forward is a CHOICE. Feeling positive about my day (or not) - a choice. Being kind to the customer service rep on the phone when I've had it up to here with my insurance company that is a choice. I own that choice. And if the rep treats me kindly, in part because I was patient and kind despite my frustrated, because i was responsible for my behavior, then I can take credit for the pleasant interaction (even if the spreadsheet outcome isn't what I expect).

Being responsible can be a daunting idea. How much responsibility are we supposed to have - how much of the world really is up to US to control. Well, far less than we think. So, perhaps in terms of how we interact with the world, we consider ourselves responsible for our own behavior, but we are RESOURCEFUL with how we operate with respect to one another. We seek out positive solutions. We consider other points of view. We allow time for thought, margin for error, room for breath. And with this room for breath, with a moment of pause, we have room for change. 

Which brings me to this a great little prose piece I see quoted a lot on the interwebs, that was used in the training I attended mentioned at the top of this post, that I very poorly paraphrased at a class today (but hopefully, anyone who was there might say, and anyone who reads this post might say, I still passed on the appropriate idea).

Autobiography in Five Chapters
by Portia Nelson


I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost...
I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I'm in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall's a habit
My eyes are open; I know where I am;
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

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