The character “Taylor” (played by John P. Whitecloud – who was awesome!) in the movie Poltergeist 2 tells “Steve” (Craig T. Nelson), when Steve is losing his mind because his family has been overrun by evil spirits…AGAIN…that he must take responsibility…
Taylor – You understand me, no matter how much you want to feel sorry for yourself. That is the path you have chosen to take, whether you know it or not. YOU should assume full responsibility.
Steve – RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT!
Taylor – Responsibility for EVERYTHING. Everything in your world.
"God is in, His holy tem-PUL!"
I think he’s right.
Community is great. I think it’s wonderful to have a group of like-minded individuals around, to support you when needed.
But not at the expense of your self, your individuality, your soul.
The biggest part of being an individual is taking responsibility for yourself as an individual.
And this is something our culture does not (and many communities do not) teach.
Beyond that, is the extent to which you must take responsibility for yourself. And in this, too, Taylor is right – you must take responsibility for everything in your world.
There is no “your world” without “you the individual.” Your perception of your world = you.
I don’t mean this in a hard way. It shouldn’t be hard. It should be very easy. In fact, it should be easier still because your community supports you in this process.
If you live in a community like that.
I think our culture likes to tell people what to do a lot. “Prescriptions,” instead of education. Which is strange, since we live in a predominantly Christian society (at least, predominantly led by people who call themselves “Christian” – and I am not, just in case you were wondering). What I mean is, Jesus said something about teaching people to fish instead of giving them fish. In our culture, we like to tell people to catch their own fish, and tell them that they have to make their own fishing rods, and lines, and hooks. But we don’t show them how to do those things. We just tell them that they need to.
I encounter this effort to escape responsibility all the time – in myself and in others – and it’s extremely frustrating.
One of the funniest places to see it, for me, is in culture itself. We currently have a ton of excuses for why people aren’t self-responsible…number one among them is…
they need the extra space on the sides of the car...they're fat
…which, simply put, means, “feeling that one does not need to be self-responsible.”
Uh? What? So, when we have a problem, we approach it by making another name for it? That…doesn’t sound like it will have any effect.
Yeah, people complain all the time about their kids, their peers, their grandkids, their neighbors, having a bizarre sense of entitlement…
…and there it ends.
Instead of saying “you are not entitled to this,” they argue about it. They have debates. They talk about it on talk shows. Anything rather than facing their beliefs about the issue and doing something about it.
Beyond that, whose responsibility are your feelings/opinions? They’re yours. What are your estimations of other people as acting with false entitlement giving you?
Is it helping you to avoid pointing the finger back where it belongs?
When you tell someone else that they’re wrong, bad, not good, dumb, conceited, egotistical, silly, lazy, or anything else, do you take responsibility for the fact that it is you who thinks this about the other person? It is not they who think it. You don’t know what they think. You can’t. Even when they tell you what they think, you only have a vague notion of what those words mean to them as an individual.
And when you do own it, do you then hold that feeling inside from then on? Push it down? Debate about it with yourself?
Or do you play with those beliefs? Do you experiment, play, with the other person, to see whether your ideas match reality or not?
There’s a big difference between judgment and play.
One, judgment, says that you know “how it is.” You’re already certain, based on your (I’m sure vast) experience, what a person is thinking, who they are; or, what a situation is, and what the “right” response is.
The other, play, says that you might have an idea of what’s happening, but that you want to explore the possibilities – in a way that involves empathy, compassion, humor, lightheartedness…
Another place people often try to avoid responsibility for themselves and their world is in religion and politics. OH NO! THE TWO “TABOO” SUBJECTS WE SHOULD NEVER SPEAK ABOUT!
"I went down to the crossroads..."
Why is it that we should never speak about them?
Well, what happens when you speak about something?
No…not that you argue. I mean, the arguing leads to something else.
It means that you will be forced to confront your views of the world. By saying them out loud, in the presence of another person, you will be forced to look at what you believe. You will be forced to confront…
Still other places I’ve noticed people hiding from themselves in are – jobs/careers, illnesses (ADD, ADHD? – it’s not my fault I can’t control myself, I have an illness), relationships…etc.
Can’t we all just play along?
What does all of this have to do with training?
I can provide a good answer from the response I just posted on Aaron Schwenzfeier’s Blog:
For me, the future of “training” is educating people about how their bodies work. Then they can become, as they should be, the boss of themselves…self-responsible.
How does a human body work, in general? What are the mechanisms at work? Chek doesn’t teach his people that…probably because he’s afraid that, if he did, they wouldn’t need him anymore.
That’s really sad, though. True coaching isn’t about telling people what to do all the time. It’s about being an artist. It’s about accumulating the time in the field, researching your field, seeing what works and what doesn’t, so that you can effectively help the individuals you work with in a faster and faster manner…
Coaching is an art.
More education. Less admonishment, less prescription, less arguing about “what’s right for everyone” (it doesn’t exist…every one individual is different), less “guru-ism.”
My goal here, has not been to prescribe an action to you, or to condemn anyone for behaving in any way. I hope you don’t take it that way. I’m just trying to describe the new state of behavior I’m trying to foster in myself.
If you want to do that too, let’s play.
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