Learn to be Responsible…

"Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible."
(Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, p.172)

"Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual."
(Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, p.122)

"The difference between winners and losers is that winners do things losers don't want to do..."
Phillip McGraw, Ph.D.

One of the most important things we have to learn in life is to assume responsibility for our actions and become responsible for our lives.

Responsibility involves discipline - the proper execution of routine or even unpleasant tasks. It involves confidence and judgment - to choose the best and do the best. Almost without exception, we are careful of our personal appearance. Responsibility is this same care applied to our job, family, and community.

The measure of our progress in life is our positive acceptance of our responsibilities. Sometimes it involves assuming more obligations than we realize. When our attitudes are such that we accept responsibility AS OUR OWN, we are then in a position to realize our aims in life.

The Josephson Institute of Ethics* writes: "Life is full of choices. Being responsible means being in charge of our choices and, thus, our lives. It means being accountable for what we do and who we are. It also means recognizing that our actions matter and we are morally on the hook for the consequences. Our capacity to reason and our freedom to choose make us morally autonomous and, therefore, answerable for whether we honor or degrade the ethical principles that give life meaning and purpose.

Ethical people show responsibility by being accountable, pursuing excellence and exercising self-restraint. They exhibit the ability to respond to expectations. An accountable person is not a victim and doesn't shift blame or claim credit for the work of others.

Responsible people exercise self-control, restraining passions and appetites (such as lust, hatred, gluttony, greed and fear) for the sake of longer-term vision and better judgment. They delay gratification if necessary and never feel it's necessary to 'win at any cost.' They realize they are as they choose to be, every day. They consider the consequences of their behavior and associations. They lead by example."

One of our goals should definitely be to learn to be responsible individuals; our life will definitely become easier and we will feel better about ourselves. Responsibility is one of the values that will help us accomplish our goals and become persons with integrity and good character. It will help us feel proud of who we are.

The following six core ethical values form the foundation of the CHARACTER COUNTS! youth-ethics initiative. These values will guide our choices in life and will be reflected in the way we conduct ourselves:

~ Earn the trust of others  ~ Be honest  ~ Don't deceive, cheat or steal  ~ Be reliable - do what you say you'll do  ~ Have the courage to do the right thing  ~ Build a good reputation  ~ Be loyal - stand by your family, friends and country

~ Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you)  ~ Respect prohibits violence, humiliation, manipulation and exploitation  ~ Respect reflects notions such as civility, courtesy, decency, dignity, autonomy, tolerance and acceptance. ~ Be tolerant of differences  ~ Use good manners, not bad language  ~ Be considerate of the feelings of others  ~ Don't threaten, hit or hurt anyone  ~ Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements

~ Be responsible of your life  ~ Do what you are supposed to do  ~ Persevere: keep on trying!  ~ Always do your best  ~ Use self-control  ~ Be self-disciplined  ~ Think before you act - consider the consequences  ~ Be accountable for your choices  ~ Lead by example

~ Be fair  ~ Play by the rules  ~ Take turns and share  ~ Be open-minded; listen to others  ~ Don't take advantage of others  ~ Don't blame others carelessly

~ Truly care for others  ~ Be kind  ~ Be compassionate  ~ Express gratitude  ~ Forgive others  ~ Help people in need

~ Become a good citizen  ~ Do your share to make your school and community better  ~ Volunteer whenever possible  ~  Cooperate  ~ Stay informed and vote  ~ Be a good neighbor  ~ Obey laws and rules  ~ Respect authority  ~ Protect the environment  ~ Give more than you take


* CHARACTER COUNTS! is a service mark of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition,
a project of the Josephson Institute of Ethics, a nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization. Please check
www.josephsoninstitute.org and www.charactercounts.org.


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