Understanding Personal Responsibility

Personal Responsibility is your acceptance of and adherence to society’s established moral and ethical code of conduct and a willingness to abide by these standards even when no one is there to hold you accountable but yourself.

Personal responsibility is owning your failures, assuming the duty of task completion, and committing to the subscriptions of your life. It is caring for your own well-being, handling the needs of those who depend on you, and serving those who are underserved. It is also employing your inherent gifts and talents to advance that which you are able to advance. Personal responsibility is the fundamental essence of human character, of a free society, and of a free world. Without it we have chaos. There will never be enough rules, laws, and enforcement to hold every person accountable. Our society depends on the vast majority of us exhibiting personal responsibility.

Teddy Roosevelt’s speech, Citizenship in a Republic, which he offered in 1910, gives one of the best explanations for the importance of PR to a society. They are as follows: “…In the long run, success or failure will be conditioned upon the way in which the average man, the average woman, does his or her duty, first in the ordinary, every-day affairs of life, and next in those great occasional crises which call for the heroic virtues. The average citizen must be a good citizen if our republics are to succeed. The stream will not permanently rise higher than the main source; and the main source of national power and national greatness is found in the average citizenship of the nation. Therefore, it behooves us to do our best to see that the standard of the average citizen is kept high; and the average cannot be kept high unless the standard of the leaders is very much higher.” These inspirational and prophetic words were not only to remind his generation of their obligation to PR, but also served as a warning.

In these last few years, I have noticed two very interesting things about PR, and these things have happened consequentially. The first is that accountability to society’s standards has severely diminished – particularly among our leaders. The second, which is more apparent now than ever, is that it has become increasingly less popular to even believe that one has a duty to society’s standards.

In addition to government and organizational decisions such as decriminalizing “petty” crimes, an onslaught of abrasive and disrespectful rhetoric from both sides of the aisle, using influence and power for the advancement of oneself, and phenomenal levels of hypocrisy as it pertains to policy making and media reporting, we simply have an abject loss of commitment to Right vs. Wrong. Because we are creatures with a conscience, we are born knowing right from wrong – even before someone tells you. So, my question is this: What has changed that made it O.K. to run from obligations, disrespect and harm people, ignore one’s duty to help those who need it, and ALWAYS decide what side of an issue you are on based on who suggested it rather than on the merits of the argument? We were forewarned by Teddy Roosevelt that when our leaders abandoned a commitment to personal responsibility, then so too should we expect our citizenry to follow.

Second. The rejection of one’s duty to society is parasitical in nature. This preposterous post-modern groupthink scenario perpetuates the lie that we are OWED something by our existence. Here is some breaking news: this world, including those who live in it, do not owe you anything other than an unfettered, equal pursuit of happiness: a happy life is EARNED. Each of us has a personal responsibility to handle ourselves first, so that we can then be a productive, contributing member of society. Once on a solid foundation, we then have a responsibility to use our influence, power, wealth, and abilities to make a better world for every member of our republic. This growing belief, however, that we are not responsible for ourselves, but rather we have a right to be taken care of is destructive and unsustainable. Again, Teddy Roosevelt warned us, “The average citizen must be a good citizen if our republics are to succeed”, and “In the long run, success or failure will be conditioned upon the way in which the average man, the average woman, does his or her duty, first in the ordinary, every-day affairs of life”. Remember, JFK famously exclaimed, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

I fear the lack of personal responsibility I see in our leaders, our media, our entertainment, our social media, and many of our large corporations. But, we can’t call out those if we ourselves are not exhibiting our own personal responsibility. Teddy Roosevelt has warned us if we are only willing to listen. Force yourself to handle today’s duties. This is the essence of human character. Our free society and free world depend on it.


Continuity in Your Fundamental Beliefs

When your actions and decisions are consistent regardless of the setting, you become validated as an authentic person. Whether you are on a football field, in the office, with your family, or otherwise, making the right decisions and upholding your foundational beliefs allow people to see authenticity.

As such, be mindful that others tend to see your decisions, your commitment, and your motives in a uniform fashion. By doing so, you allow yourself to develop a firm and tangible leadership style, along with the accompanying traits that make a great leader.

This is important to understand because the same values that carry a successful business will carry a successful football team, a successful friendship, a successful relationship, and all other joint-ventures in your life.

Remain committed to truth, humility, integrity, civility, hard work and open ears and you will see all facets of your life flourish.


Cancel Popular Politics

I remember becoming interested in politics, along with the reality that politics is a full contact sport, in Junior-High School when Ronald Reagan was president.

I loved Ronald Reagan because he was Pro-American, Pro-Small Business, Pro-State’s Rights, and he had astounding charisma and sense of humor. America loved him because he did not simply use the Presidency to guide the American people – among other things, he let the American people guide his Presidency.

As a republican, Reagan was President when Tip O’Neill, a Democrat from Massachusetts, was Speaker of the House of Representatives. They battled on policy as is required of politicians, but they never saw each other as enemies or adversaries.

Reagan and O’Neill both loved America first, and both compromised and worked out issues for the good of the country. Were either of them perfect? Certainly, they weren’t. But, were their intentions sound and their civility a good example for the citizenry? You bet!

During this time when I was figuring out what politics is, how it works, and what it does (… I still don’t think the Govt. knows what it does most of the time!) I noticed that the more I learned about politics, the more I realized how so few in the electorate cared to inform themselves.

Ronald Reagan was a great President in my opinion. Many people loved his attitude, his spirit, and his willingness to lead. But the best part about him was that, beyond policy, he encouraged people to focus on their state and local government, not the federal government — herein lies what I think has become a very modern issue.

Ever since Reagan, the Presidency has become more and more popular. Popular Politics is centralized and hyper-focused on by the media. Often that focus is fueled by scandal, perversion of truth, and misinformation which sells advertisements, polarizes us, and generates massive activity on social media. None of this is good for us, though.

As I have four kids of my own, ages 22-25, I am encouraged to see them engage with their friends in political discourse. I am encouraged to see them interested in policies that affect their future and find leaders that they want to support. I love that my four kids, all raised the same way, have differing political views. I love that our younger generations are becoming more engaged.

However, my fear is that these younger generations are so caught up in the popularity of national politics and receive much of their information in sound bites that they lack depth of policy understanding and are moving away from what our founders intended in strong local and state government.

Local politics don’t sell ads!

I long to see the day where we can return our focus to what matters: those immediately around us. The President of the United States, no matter how great or how powerful, cannot save you. Your United States Senator cannot save you. Your U.S. Congressperson (though they can help immensely more) cannot save you either. Your family, your community, your town, your city, your brothers and sisters, and your community leaders are the ones that help create REAL change in a world where it is so desperately needed.

Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

We certainly need a strong central government for defense, fiscal policy, international relations and hosts of other reasons. We also need great leaders to run that government. But, when those civil servants become celebrities, when our media hyper-focuses on their every utterance, and when our electorate gets their political beliefs from soundbites and tweets, we get what we have today.

When we forget that politics is local, forget that our founders intended strong local governments, forget the media is not supposed to be entertainment or biased, and forget that honest and civil face-to-face discourse can never be replaced by 124 characters spun out behind a smartphone’s keyboard, then we get what we have today.

There is plenty of blame to go around – all ages, races, and political parties have culpability. Politicians are not meant to be rockstars – they are to be servants. The federal government isn’t meant to make everything perfect for everybody; it’s meant to provide a safe place for local communities to have an opportunity to serve their neighbors for the common good.

The popularity of national politics, the popularity of the people in national politics, and the never-ending feed of incomplete and often inaccurate soundbites that fuel the frenzy are just bad for all of our lives.

Let’s #MakePoliticsUnpopularAgain #letstalkshopcoachbill

Voting: A Responsibility, Not a Convenient Option

Before America’s Independence from Great Britain in 1776, there were only 3 other established democratic republics in the world: the Netherlands, Switzerland, and England. Of these three, only Switzerland remains a true Republic, while England and the Netherlands became constitutional monarchies.

While flaws persist and advancements are necessary, the United States of America is the longest-standing, most free, just, opportune, and equal state in the history of the world. As Americans, our Constitutional birthrights are far more advanced than those of any other established nation.

One of these birthrights is the RIGHT TO VOTE.

It is damning to me that Americans have the ability to influence politics and the landscape of our country but many choose not to. In 2016, only 137.5 million of our 250 million voting-age-population voted; that is a mere 55%.

I am one to be under the impression that if you do not vote and are not willing to contribute to one of the most powerful birthrights of any population in the world, you have no basis or authority in which to complain or gripe about politics. Further, if you do not support or like either candidate, you still have a responsibility to write-in a top-ballot choice and vote down-ballot.

In an age when our lives feel like an un-consented social experiment as dogmas, ideals, and “being on the right side” of the questions move at an astounding pace, we should be more committed to practicing our birthright by casting a vote to fight for those ideals in which we believe.

Always remember – in the year 2000, GOP Presidential Candidate George W. Bush defeated DNC Presidential Candidate Al Gore by a margin of 0.009%, or 537 votes. If you do not think that your vote can change the outcome of an election, you are wrong.

We are now 6 days away from the 2020 presidential election. I urge you to locate your voting precinct and carry your spouse, sister, brother, father, mother, daughter, son, friends, and patriots to…


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