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Personal responsibility

When I was around 13 years old, I blamed my neighbor, Mrs. Milkman, for turning me in to the cops. She noticed her Christmas tree lights had been removed from her pine tree and transferred over to Arty Jackson’s house across the street (backstory: my parents talked about how old lady Milkman and Arty were feuding all the time, and my buddy Steve and I just wanted to fan the flames of neighborly warfare). I had to write a letter of apology and put five of my hard earned dollars in an envelope and walk it over to Mrs. Milkman.

A few years later, I blamed my history teacher, Mr. Roach, for calling my parents about my book report on George Washington, which was identical to a paper he received a year earlier. I was unfairly given an “F” in the class.

About six years later, I blamed a police officer for screwing up a roadside sobriety test after my car accidentally bumped into a fire hydrant.

I was a slow learner. It took a couple times in local jails, the loss of several meaningful relationships and getting fired from a great job to figure out that I am personally responsible for my behavior.

One message that’s worthy for us older folks to pass on to younger generations is: Step up. Take responsibility. Move on.

Author: Don Kuhl

Don Kuhl is founder of The Change Companies® and Train for Change Inc.® He has authored hundreds of Journals that have assisted over 10 million people in making positive life changes. While Don was aging (think of a side of beef at a fine restaurant), he managed motel properties, started several sports publications, worked in college and health care administrations and started about a dozen corporations. Some of them failed miserably, a few flourished.