Rights and Responsibilities

Andrea Tannouri of http://www.twittertango.com/ says, "Take the word victim off of your person—out of your vocabulary. It reeks with the old energy and does not suit your magnificence.”

Now, I’m not sure about old energy or how magnificent I am, but I do agree with trashing the victim mentality. Victimhood results from someone with an overdeveloped sense of rights, and an underdeveloped sense of responsibility.

If I believe I have the right to health, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness, yet don’t take responsibility for making it a reality, I will feel victimized. After all, it’s somebody’s responsibility. Who is letting me down? Who is keeping me from being healthy? Who is mis-managing my money? Who is determining my feelings and not giving me what I want?

The “rights” we receive are privileges granted by God and our country. We don’t automatically have a right to anything, except what is dictated by laws and social rules. We don’t have a right to housing, or employment, or free food. As Americans, we often take such things for granted.

With each right comes responsibility. I have the right to tell you exactly what I think of you, but it may not be the responsible thing to go. It wouldn’t consider your feelings, or the fact that my perceptions may be false. I have a right to pursue happiness, but it’s not guaranteed. I have the responsibility to move in the direction of my dreams.

Responsibility reaches beyond self; victimhood is all about me. A responsible person will do whatever he promises. He will reach out to meet the needs of others when he is able. A responsible person admits when she’s wrong, forgives others, and cleans up her messes.

Refusing to be a victim means being willing to be proactive in life, to always look for a solution to life’s problems. It means never having to depend on others for your outlook on life. “…I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” –William Ernest Henley

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