“What we say and what we do ultimately come back to us, so let us own our responsibility, place it in our hands, and carry it with dignity and strength.” ~ Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua, Speaking in Tongues …
At some point in our lives, we are each faced with the task of “growing up” and accepting responsibility for our words and actions. A lot of individuals seem much less aware of this fact than others, or at least they have found ways to keep it out of mind and not let it bother them, but we still remain one-hundred percent responsible for our actions. And on top of that, so much of what we do and say will come back to us at some juncture in our lives, often when we are least prepared. And when it does, those who cannot accept this responsibility often attribute the problems the experience outwardly to other people and things, or to environments and circumstances, or even chalk it up to chance–perhaps due somewhat to how difficult and painful it is for us to see ourselves as the cause of our own troubles and grief.
Many see this simply as an extension of Karma–that the type of person we are, the type of choices we make, come full circle in the end. And the beauty in such a basic understanding of life is that it empowers us with ownership of our responsibilities–as long as we are aware of our actions and their potential effects, we can make positive and healthy choices and live up to our responsibilities and duties in much more natural and effortless ways.
I have personally come to accept the responsibility of making sure that everything that I say and do is something that I would actually want coming back to me. I view it as a part of the integrity of my character; after all, others base a large portion of their views of me on this criterion. And in addition, being able to accept this responsibility is a sign of wisdom and maturity–it is the point in which we come to terms with the realization that our decisions cause both our rewards and our consequences.
There is no substitute for taking full responsibility for our own actions, words, and deeds. And the more we do so, the more we begin to see how “what we say and do comes back to us” and the easier it becomes to make the right decisions when we are faced with them.
Be conscious of what you say and do–knowing full well that responsibility falls on you and you alone.
Questions to consider:
Why is it easy sometimes to say and do things without realizing that they will come back to us someday, somehow?
What does it mean to you to “own” your responsibility?
When was the last time that something that you said or did came back to you, in either a positive or negative way? How did that feel?
For further thought:
“Character–the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life–is the source from which self-respect springs.” ~ Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem