Accountability. Blame. Personal Responsibility.

At what point do we take responsibility for our actions? Will the choices we make always be someone else’s fault, especially if the outcome is dire? Should they be? Self-esteem comes from taking responsibility for the choices we make.

Chicago Fire. Blame.

I was watching a recent episode of Chicago Fire, where Jones, a firefighter, committed suicide. Dawson blamed Jones’ father for being too hard and demanding on her. Mills blamed all of the other fight fighters for not being nicer to her. Not one single person blamed Jones for choosing suicide above standing up to her father. I don’t understand that, since she was the one who chose to take her life.
Rebecca Jones’ death was a sad situation; she had great potential and could have been a valuable asset to Firehouse 51. While I didn’t really like her as a character, I did understand her. Yet, taking her life was one more choice Rebecca Jones made. First, she cheated on the firefighter exam and got away with it, she made inappropriate comments in an effort to fit in with the guys, she perpetually allowed her dad to control her life and hated him for doing what she let him do, and she took her life because it was easier than standing up to her father. She took the easy way out, and left the mess for others to sort out. She made those choices.

Healthy Choice. Personal Responsibility.

Choices. We all have them. We all make them. Sometimes we make bad ones. Most often we can clean them up. Suicide is a final choice some folks make. And everyone else is left to clean up the mess and sort through the rubble.
When I was 16 years sober I almost took my life. I felt trapped and hopeless. At the time, it appeared to be my best and only option. I had failed the California Bar Exam—one more time, and I couldn’t understand why. I was already a lawyer in New York, I was sober a long time, I was of service to others, I had changed my life, I was a hard worker and responsible person, I had done all the right things (so I thought), and yet, one more time I failed the exam. I couldn’t get a decent job because I was either overqualified or under qualified. And I had borrowed as much as I could borrow from my friends. I was at the end of my rope. Then as a result of some hard decisions, a spiritual intervention, and many opportunities to be of greater service to others, I made a different choice—Life.
What choices have you made that you blamed someone else for? What choice can you make today that may change the course of your life?
I am Attorney, Author, and Speaker Francine Ward giving you something to think about. Join my conversation on my Esteemable Acts Facebook Fan Page, my Esteemable Acts Twitter page, or in one of my LinkedIn Group discussions.

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