Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Be Responsible

Presenting two quotes from two people who will remain anonymous. Who they are is not important; rather, the situations in which they find themselves in, and how they view their situations is what I want to point out. Take a look:

[1] “When I like someone, I tend to make my whole world revolve around that person that it hurts me when my effort can’t be reciprocated the way I imagine it to be. Can’t really blame myself since I’ve been wanting this so bad for so long now.”

[2] “One of the things that I really am working on processing for myself has a lot to do with my relationship with my mother and how in many ways I try to re-live that in my interactions with (Name of Girlfriend). I really turn into an immature boy when she is trying to address a grievance with me. In Freudian terms, I see this as part of the so-called Madonna-Whore Complex. I’m still trying to work through all these issues but I do know that I also tend to treat (Name of Girlfriend) as an extension of myself and not an independent person who is entitled to her own thoughts and feelings.”

* * * * * *

Two different guys, two different sentiments. One is already in his forties, the other in his early twenties. And to both of them I want to ask: “Where is your sense of responsibility?”

In life, many things are beyond our control due to outside forces, be it natural or man-made. But the one thing we can take control of is ourselves. Self-responsibility entails that a person take charge of his life, of his feelings and his actions. One becomes the captain of his self.

I get it when people look to their past in an attempt to understand their present. The manner in which we were raised by our parents, the way our relatives and friends treated us, and even the way authority figures like teachers behaved towards us--all of those have affected the way we look at ourselves, how we comport ourselves, and how we interact with others. I understand that knowing the past can help some people let go and move on. However I also fear that the past is used as an opportunity to lay blame on others.

I believe that part of growing up is to be able to rise above the transgressions of the past and live a responsible present. One doesn’t even need to dig up the skeletons of past wrongs to be able to do the present right. Wanting something so bad is one thing; but you only have yourself to blame for throwing your self-pride, dignity and common sense out the window just to snag someone. Not treating your girlfriend as her own independent person? You are responsible for your present actions; more importantly, you can choose to improve how you treat your loved ones.

In taking responsibility for ourselves, we also need to adopt a “Get real” attitude. This means that we should face reality on its own terms. To be captains of our souls we should not rely on Fate or Karma or 11-11-11 or the Almighty God to pave our futures for us. It would be nice to think that there is a Higher Power looking for our welfare, but I wouldn’t rely on it. Things happen, pure and simple. We plan what we can, we control what can be controlled, but things have a way of falling into place that we can’t always predict. How we accept them, and work with the cards that have been dealt to us, is a mark of someone willing to be responsible for his own fate.

Taking charge of our life doesn’t mean that we put ourselves above others. Rather, we own up to whatever it is we say or do. And we acknowledge that improvement comes from within. This means that we need to learn to be a friend and a mentor to ourselves. In improving ourselves, we cannot be too harsh or too self-critical with ourselves. We need to motivate ourselves not through fear, but because we love ourselves.

Past is past; the future is not yet written. So live in the present, be in the now. And be man enough to take responsibility for your choices, your actions, your life.


JohnM said...

Thank you. Really needed to read something like this now. Thank you McVie!

Rygel said...

the first quote is something I can relate with. But for me, it's more of trying to show my partner how I want to be treated, and getting frustrated when he doesn't seem to get it