Take Responsibility, Assume Responsibility

It’s one of those things you may not notice until someone points it out to you. Maybe sort of like in the classic road runner cartoons the coyote never falls after running off the top of a cliff until he notices that the ground under his feet is 100 feet down.

Did you ever notice that when Jesus healed someone he almost always gave them a responsibility? Go to the priest. Get up. Or else the person took responsibility for their faith. Like the woman who secretly (she thought) touched Jesus garment (prayer shawl?) to obtain healing.

I’ve noticed for years the debate in America about rights. Well, not so much debate as an in-your-face “I’ve got rights” assertion. We have become what our founders feared—wanting rights without taking responsibility.

We have leaders who seem to excuse poor behavior with “it’s their right to speak” or it’s their right to…”

That is why it is so refreshing today to see a leader like the Commandant of the US Air Force Academy. Someone hung posters with racist epithets on the dorm doors of some black cadets. He didn’t hesitate. He called an assembly of everyone and “chewed butt”. We will respect all of our colleagues here. If you can’t hold them in respect, get out.

We don’t have to hit national news or have a viral YouTube clip. We can gently or not so gently remind people about such things as respecting others and taking responsibility for our actions. It’s called leadership. It’s a shame it is so rare that it makes news. 

But it does begin with each of us examining our own actions and words. When we take responsibility for our own actions, we don’t even need laws (see Paul’s advice in places such as Galatians or Romans). 

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