Responsibility…Whose is it?

Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast. I’m your host, Jean coming to you from the beautiful Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada!! The blog post and podcast is an opinion piece and only reflects this author’s opinion and not that of any other entity.  I hold no designations in politics, economics or medicine.  I am retired from the mental health field and I am a humanitarian and speak from that viewpoint only.  Whether you agree or not, at least I hope it makes you think.  When someone makes a poor decision, whose fault is it?  I guess it depends on whose viewpoint it is.  However, there comes a time that one must accept responsibility for their own actions if there is ever going to be forward momentum.  If you want to find out more, then stay tuned!

When I was contemplating a topic for this blog post/podcast, being as I was in the middle of some kind of flare of something I didn’t want to have to think too hard.  It felt like allergies which makes me miserable and sick.  So, I thought about what I could do easily without a lot of having to think hard.  Then it popped into my head….responsibility.  It’s an interesting idea to explore, and much bandied about.  The first article I saw seems like an awesome interpretation https://www.niagarainstitute.com/blog/take-responsibility-for-your-actions.  This relatively short article is jam packed with awesome information.  It is worthwhile to take the time to read it.  It is business related and brings to the forefront an issue that is often the basis of poor workplace communications and poor life decisions.  I couldn’t put it anywhere near as succinctly as the author has.  Essentially, it boils down to taking responsibility for your own actions.  Don’t blame things on other people, don’t deflect, take responsibility for your own part in things.  It is short, to the point, and gives good advice for dealing with workplace conflict.  At least in the theoretically perfect workplace world.  Sadly, we must acknowledge that people aren’t perfect and neither is the workplace world.

Over time, I have found that workplaces that have the highest turn-over and the lowest morale seem to be the places that look for someone to blame for issues.  This seems true of most things in life.  Of course, the problem is that even when the “problem” leaves, there is still a problem…thus begins the whole recycle of the same old same old.  It continues either until people get fed up and move on or the person who creates the issues moves.  This doesn’t have to be the case, but it generally is.  People make poor choices all the time.  I’ve had my fair share of them.  It happens to all of us.  It happens either through lack of information, lack of understanding or just plain poor problem solving amongst some of the reasons.  It’s not new to the world.  It’s not shocking.  However, the more we blame each other, the more we blame someone else or something else…well, it just keeps going in circles and no forward movement happens.  No one is happy in situations like that.  Even if you ‘get even’ with the ‘targeted individual’, how even is even?  How long is long enough?  Are you happier?  Is anyone happier?  This just creates a spiraling ever increasing sense of discontentment and there is never enough.  You’re never enough, you’re never getting better.  The boundaries are blurred and no one is happy.

It is the same in the general world.  If you decide that you have a right to put down someone for being different or decide that you have a right to revenge on someone for some supposed infraction, then when is it enough?  There is a quote often misattributed to Gandhi that had been used by his biographer (Fisher) to describe Gandhi’s position of non-violence.  “An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.”  No matter who actually said it, it was used in relation to Gandhi and so, I give both his biographer and his name.  This gets off track somewhat and I don’t intend to argue the point.  The main point is that, whether or not you like it, there is no place in the workplace nor in the world in general for people needing to ‘get even’ nor for someone to blame for a bad situation.  It’s caused a lot more trouble that it has ever solved.  However, if you are the instigator, then learn from the situation, fix what you can and move forward.  Don’t expect the victims to be happy about it.

As Marie Curie has been credited with saying, “You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.”  So in my opinion, responsibility is what helped build a lot of society. It is something that many of the scientists and those who made great strides in the world understood that there was a responsibility and that we have responsibility not only to ourselves, but also to others.  There would be no movement forward in the world if we cannot move forward from mistakes.  Most great scientists made mistakes, most great philosophers made mistakes.  They had to face them and learn from them and improve themselves to get to success.  Therefore, I postulate that no greatness can be attained without first learning to take responsibility for one’s own mistakes.  No success can be fully won without being hard fought and wisdom obtained from it.

Miranda Kerr states that “A nice person is a ‘yes’ person, whereas a good person is a person who accepts their responsibility in things and moves forward and tries to constantly evolve and isn’t afraid to say no or challenge someone or be honest or truthful.”  In this, one has to be adamant.  Moving forward requires honesty with oneself and with others.  It requires that we acknowledge our mistakes and either fix the problem or move forward and be better people.  No one is perfect.  Within society there are certain things that are agreed upon, do not steal, do not kill, and do not take what is not yours, don’t lie…sounds familiar I’m sure to a fairly large proportion of the population.  When these societal covenants are broken, then society tends to react badly.  It is moral obligations/responsibility that can run one afoul of the law.  People do make mistakes, but a mistake that is continually made can stop being a mistake and then becomes a choice.  At the same time, if you find me a perfect person, I will be able to show you a liar.  If you find me someone who never made a mistake, then I’ll show you someone who has never tried to do anything.

Dear listeners and readers, lest you think that moral responsibility is a newer construct, the first person credited with discussing this was Aristotle (384–323 BCE) https://stanford.library.sydney.edu.au/archives/spr2010/entries/moral-responsibility/.  It appears to still be a work in progress centuries later though.  Not only do we have a moral responsibility to ourselves and others, we are morally obligated to follow the tenants of our own belief system.  Whether it be Christian, Atheist, Muslim, etc.  It is a difficult concept and many do not learn it.  In the simplest form is the do unto others idea.  It doesn’t say do unto others and run just for clarification.

This brings us to the modern workplace.  Where there are a variety of people, enclosed in a relative small space.  Though now with working remotely, this is less, but at this point, it is not the top of workplace lists.  Most still want to see living people in their offices.  The article, https://hypercontext.com/blog/management-skills/create-culture-accountability-workplace uses the word accountability which I quote directly “Accountability in the workplace means that all employees are responsible for their actions, behaviors, performance and decisions. It’s also linked to an increase in commitment to work and employee morale, which leads to higher performance.”  So, it seems that responsibility is one of the factors that increases commitment and employee morale.  Presumably when misused, it will lower those and it is exactly what they argue.  The philosophical ideals suggest that whether or not people like it, responsibility is an important ingredient to having a positive and happy workforce.  It seems a little thing, but in fact, it is a much bigger thing that most people understand.  I have worked in a variety of workplaces.  The ones that seemed more healthy and productive were ones that had clear expectations and responsibilities.  I’ve also seen places go down and empty out.  Things became far less clear.  Responsibility was not given.  People were wandering about in confusion.  Any direction given was made out of desperate knee jerk reaction to try to maintain control.  There are some who are ‘self-starters’ and they will work despite poor management but they will soon burn out, leave or are fired for some infraction real or supposed.  The article is also full of good advice on responsibility/accountability at work.  It doesn’t need to stop there.  Being accountable in life is also a given.  I see a lot of talk about rights, but often they don’t seem to believe they need to be accountable or have responsibilities.  Sorry to them, the world is enough of a mess…and yes, that’s what has a lot of stuff falling off the rails.

Responsibility has so many different elements and seems to be such an important part of life, it is astounding that it is such a big umbrella term and yet there seems to be a lack of actually accepting its importance in some circles.  On Wikipedia, there is a whole page listing different types of responsibility.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility.  So, what have we learned?  Responsibility is an important part of the healthy workplace.  It is also something we need to have in a healthy society.  It is something that workplaces have found important to the wellbeing of the business and morale of the place.  Religions espouse it, people talk about it, and some try to duck out of it.  But in any situation, if we don’t accept our own responsibility, and we point fingers, we devolve into unhealthy, unproductive, and destructive patterns.  A happy place is one that has some responsibility and follows some kind of rules.  Sitting around is never good for saving ourselves from destructive patterns.  Responsibility is one of the factors that makes the world go round.  Without it we lose credibility with ourselves, others and that monster that we fear is under the bed might just be looking you in the eye in the mirror.  Whether you agree with me or not, I hope it will make you think!  As Aristotle is credited with saying according to https://www.thoughtco.com/aristotle-quotes-117130, “It is absurd to make external circumstances responsible and not oneself, and to make oneself responsible for noble acts and pleasant objects responsible for base ones.”

Thanks for listening to my podcast and/or reading my blog post and thanks for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures!

https://anchor.fm/a–j-pei-treasures/episodes/ResponsibilityWhose-is-it-e1ligbu

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Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson author podcast and blog post.  This week, I discuss a term that is often bandied about, but not really explored in depth by many…it’s called responsibility.   If you want to find out more, then stay tuned…!
Responsibility, it’s not just an outdated concept. You can find the podcast matching the blog post on Anchor FM and other formats. Anchor FM: https://anchor.fm/a–j-pei-treasures/episodes/ResponsibilityWhose-is-it-e1ligbu

Published by A & J PEI Treasures/E Jean Simpson, BEd, BA, MA

E Jean Simpson, is the author, blogger, podcaster and one of the photographers of A & J PEI Treasures. A & J PEI Treasures is located on Prince Edward Island, Canada. All opinions stated in the Blog Post are my opinions and may not be that of A & J PEI Treasures. We are made up of a husband and wife team and our companion animals. There are a number of things that drew us to the Island…one of which was the natural beauty of the area. We enjoy constructing things and renovations to our place, upcycling, photography, writing, and a simpler lifestyle. Thank you for your interest. E Jean Simpson/Andrew Simpson of A & J PEI Treasures (2019). I can't get links to work in Gravatar, so links are below: ​​​​​You can find us at Social Media: ​​​​​​​Pinterest -https://www.pinterest.ca/ej2466/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/EJS08026749 YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5zpCudGThZpEC92ZgHm13A? (YouTube) LinkedIn: - https://www.linkedin.com/in/e-j-s-151a2219 Blog Posts: WordPress - https://aandjpeitreasures.wordpress.com/ Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20155854.E_Jean_Simpson/blog E-Books Available on: Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/author/ejeansimpson_a-jpeitreasures Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ejstoo you can also see us on... BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/profile/e-jean-simpson ​​​​​​​ We have podcasts started on Anchor FM and can be found on the following: Anchor FM: https://anchor.fm/a--j-pei-treasures Google Podcasts: https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy81MDJkOTZjOC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw== Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/he6mroww RadioPublic: https://radiopublic.com/e-jean-simpson-bed-ba-ma-author-8grQ72 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1xzUQzKzGyAChOXT4WLe1Z Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/e-jean-simpson-bed-ba-ma-author-a-j-pei-treasures/id1558288352?l iHeart Radio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-e-jean-simpson-bed-ba-ma-a-82327485/ Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/e-jean-simpson-bed-ba-ma-autho-1715585 Amazon: https://music.amazon.ca/podcasts/879afe63-b03a-419d-8c13-068892219490/e-jean-simpson-bed-ba-ma-author-a-j-pei-treasures ​​​​​​​ Some of our e-books are winners of the Canada Book Awards (https://canadabookaward.com/). -​​​​​​​Quotes, Poems and Thoughts: With Pictures from Prince Edward Island, Canada -​​​​​​​Rocky Mountain Memories (Accepted for the 2020 Reader's Choice General Nonfiction- https://www.tckpublishing.com/2020-readers-choice-voting-page/) *(Canada Book Award winner https://canadabookaward.com/​​​​​​​) -​​​​​​​Floral Photography: Hope of Life and for the Future *(Canada Book Award winner https://canadabookaward.com/) ​​​​​​​-From the Lens of my Camera: This and That and a Big Black Cat. *(Canada Book Award winner https://canadabookaward.com/) -How to Publish an E-book on a Budget of $0: Making your Dreams a Reality -The Big Kid’s Magical Path to Numbers (The Big Kid's Magical Path Book 1) (Canada Book Award 2020 winner https://canadabookaward.com/) -The Big Kid’s Magical Path to The Alphabet (The Big Kid's Magical Path Book 2) (Canada Book Award 2020 winner https://canadabookaward.com/) -The Big Kid's Magical Path to Shapes in Nature (The Big Kid's Magical Path Book 3) -The Big Kid's Magical Path to Colours in Nature (The Big Kid's Magical Path Book 4) -The Big Kid's Magical Path to Insects in Nature (The Big Kid's Magical Path Book 5) More to follow! ​​​​​​​ *(Canada Book Award winner https://canadabookaward.com/​​​​​​​) is noted on books that won

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