There are two basic kinds of people; the selfish and the self-responsible.
- Expect others to sacrifice for them
- Make others feel responsible for their feelings of pain and joy
- Consistently make their own feelings, wants, needs and desires important without considering the feelings, wants, needs and desires of others
- Believe they are entitled to special treatment, such as not having to wait in line
The Self Responsible
- Take care of their own feelings, wants, needs and desires rather than expecting others to take care of them
- Support others in doing what brings them joy, even when they are not doing as they want them to do
- Show caring for others for the joy it gives them rather than out of fear, guilt, or obligation
- Have the courage to take loving action on their own behalf, even it others get angry with them for doing so
- Have the courage to speak their truth about what they will or will not do, and what they do or do not feel, rather than give themselves up to avoid criticism, anger or rejection
Now that I have defined the difference between selfishness and self-responsibility, what category do you fall into? Your children?
Too many people give themselves up to avoid being called selfish. But is that not deceptive? Would it not be easier to be truthful and let people know (nicely of course) about how you feel about someone or something, then to lie and constantly hide your true self?
Many pagans preach self-responsibility but fail to fully implement it. All of my friends will quickly tell you that Patrick means what he says and if he is unhappy with someone or something, that you will definitely hear about it from him firsthand. I don't believe in mincing my words or biting my tongue at all. This is also what I teach my children, both of them; there is no time to hint around an issue, if you have something to say, then just say it and deal with the consequences.
Too many parents have and continue to not teach this. This is evident in the fact that we live in a country of selfish people. People who care too much about themselves and feel that they are entitled to a handout. A nation of "victims" who are more worried about their rights rather than their responsibilities. Too quick to yell offence and sue than accept responsibility for their own actions. Our culture is obsessed with the phrase "instant service". We want everything now if not sooner.
But don't accept this list as a complete, fast and unchanging list. Far from it. Part of being self-responsible is making your own way in the world. Making our own definition of ourselves for in the end we have none on the physical plane to answer to.
This is just the list I abide by and try to teach to my children. For I believe it is my job to mold my young skulls full of mush into well adjusted and well rounded adults. Able to live and survive on their own in the real adult world.