I have always felt we are responsible for ourselves because we really cannot depend on others to be responsible for us. When I was sixteen I quit school, packed my bags and left home. I ended up homeless for a while then was blessed with a son who made me want to be more. My son and I were on food stamps and lived in government subsidized housing and I received Pell Grants when I finally got my GED and started college. I was grateful for the help but never saw it as a hand out instead I thought of it as a hand up. I also worked two jobs, got out of the government subsidized housing within a year and stopped receiving food stamps as soon as we could eat without them. God has blessed me over the years more times than I can count but not because I sat around waiting for someone else to take care of me. My point in telling you this is to say that life is far from always being easy BUT it is up to us to do everything we can to care for ourselves and improve our situation.
In most cases people cannot do things to us if we do not let them. In many cases our problems are brought about by our own poor choices and yet our society has developed a victim, take care of me, I am helpless, get them before or because they get me mentality that drives me crazy.
We have no issue with spending $50.00 to eat out but we cringe at putting $20.00 in the offering plate at church or worse yet saving that money and paying down the debt we have run up buying things we cannot afford. Think about it our economy is driven by debt and its primary failure is debt. We seek instant gratification and buy more, better, bigger then we get angry when bill collectors call. We file bankruptcy then talk about how we want to wait until our bankruptcy closes to lease so “they” won’t get our money.
We can spend hours talking about how the government is screwing us (sorry but that is the vernacular we use isn’t it?) with taxes, and various laws. Yet many of us do not bother to vote, write our congressmen or seek ways to improve the system in small ways. Why should we that is what “they” are supposed to do.
We gripe about entitlements and those who use the system. Those who use the system often gripe about how the system does not do enough for them. Yet we do not look at ways to help make things better, improve the system, etc.
We gripe about our jobs, our bosses, our pay. We do not bother with realizing how blessed we are to even have a job. We do not seek a change in job or seek to improve our education or our skills in order to qualify for a better job; instead we focus on what we cannot do and how others prevent us from succeeding.
Then along comes the Haynesville Shale and mineral leasing became the topic of discussion and dismay. So we had another “they” to point to and say how they have wronged us. But, how many read the leases before they signed them? I have been in meetings where I asked a room full of people how many read and understood they lease they signed and no one raised their hand! Where is our personal accountability? If we do not seek to educate ourselves and be responsible for the consequences of what we sign where is our personal accountability? If we look only at the dollar signs and not at the terms of the lease and how that will impact us long term are we setting ourselves up to be “victims” again? If we do not seek changes to the mineral code that level the playing field do we have a right to gripe about how the code is written?
Right here on our beloved GoHaynesvilleShale.com we have seen a slipping of personal accountability at times. People taking more time to try and tear others down than lift them up. People bickering and finding fault instead of seeking the knowledge and discarding the rest. Blaming others for infighting and not looking at what we may have done to contribute to the fray and correct our own behavior instead of lamenting others. If we were being personally accountable for our actions would we be so quick to make unnecessary snide remarks that suit no purpose other than to tear others down? One time I was angered by a posting by someone which I felt was a personal attack on me. Instead of being accountable for myself and moving forward I responded with an angry retort. A poster named Mom made one comment on my personal page. She simply said “must we display anger in public?” I blushed when I read it and quickly deleted my public post and emailed her thanking her for reminding me of the importance of manners. I am grateful to the shaler named “Mom” for gently yet firmly prodding me back into personal accountability for my actions and words.
Even the most independent, pick yourself up by the bootstraps type of person is guilty of at least some of the above mentioned infractions. I said we because I am guilty of many of them also, credit cards, not always voting when I was younger, staying stuck in a job I had lost my passion for because I feared making a change and loosing security, staying in a bad marriage too long out of guilt, giving angry responses instead of controlling my anger. It seems to be an unpopular view, but how much better would our lives and our world be if we more consistently took responsibility for ourselves and our lives and our society? So my Haynesville friends I challenge all of us to seek to change that which we can, educate those whom we can and gently but firmly help those around us to take a little more personal responsibility and see what a difference it can make to embrace an unpopular view.