Today, we look at the ninth of The 10 Greatest Gifts principles outlined by Steven W. Vannoy in his 1994 book. You will recall that we examined “integrity” the last time. These principles also apply very well to adults working in the business world and can help us work better with others and understand, for ourselves, how we can be most productive and effective in every walk of life.
What is the principle of responsibility? Vannoy defines it like this as he discussed the importance of this gift to our children:
“With the gift of responsibility our children learn to take charge of their own lives; along with integrity, they learn to help others work through the circumstances they face. With these qualities and values, we take full responsibility for our circumstances and our future. We make intelligent decisions. We live our lives with pride, fairness, and dignity.”
Being responsible…. I remember my parents talking about how we needed to be responsible for our own things, our own schoolwork, our own problems, etc. It was clear to me at an early age that there were certain things in life that only I could manage or control and if I didn’t do it, it likely would not get done. I’m thankful my parents taught me responsibility. It prevents me from being the “victim” or the innocent bystander. Let’s look at a few examples of responsibility:
- “Clean up your room” to a child results in an organized adult that plans and executes well
- “Finish your homework before you go outside to play” to a child results in an adult that knows how to prioritize their work and focus on the important things first
- “Share your toys with your brother” to a child results in an adult that is a giver; one that focuses not on him/herself, but wants to make the world better for others, as well
- “You have to do that report yourself” to a child results in an adult that understands that they must take responsibility for their own work
- “You kids need to work together” to a child results in an adult that believes that a team can accomplish much more than any one individual
- “Now, tell me the truth, did you do that?” to a child results in an adult that is honest and trustworthy
- “Remember, taking care of your kitty is your job” to a child results in an adult that values life and others; that understands the needs of others and will do whatever is needed to meet those needs
- “Please help your little sister with that” to a child results in an adult that understands the value of serving others and helping others through difficult times
- “How do you feel when someone does that to you?” to a child results in an adult that is kind, has compassion, and can put her/himself in the shoes of others
- “Let’s go outside and play” to a child results in an adult that knows the importance of leisure, fun, and activity and will make that a priority in life
- “Sorry, but you’ll have to tell your teacher what happened” to a child results in an adult that admits their mistakes, seeks forgiveness, and wants to do better in the future
As an adult, it is not too late to develop the gift of responsibility in our own lives. How can you begin that journey today?
Let’s all have a terrific day! It might even be our very best yet!