“The man who complains about how the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.” ~ Lou Holtz
There are some occasions where I simply want to throw my hands up in the air and shout at the top of my voice, “I’ve had enough already!” The world in which we live is a dangerous, crazy mess. One of the reasons, I firmly believe, is that the vast majority of people have quit taking responsibility for themselves. It is always and forever someone else’s fault.
For me, this realization solidified in 1992 when I heard about the woman who purchased hot coffee from McDonalds, spilled it in her lap, and sued because she got burned. Apparently the jury believed that McDonalds was to blame and awarded her three million dollars. Now, cups have to be labelled “Contents might be hot.” Come on. Really? Hot coffee is, by its very nature hot. She did not order iced coffee. She ordered hot coffee. A McDonalds employee did not bring the coffee to her and dump it in her lap. She spilled it. But she is not at fault? No. Apparently they decided she was not at fault. -sigh-
Since that time, I have heard and read about more lawsuits where people did incredibly stupid things, things that defy — absolutely defy — common sense, getting hurt in the process, and suing a business or manufacturer. It does not make sense to me. There have been a few times in my own life where something happened because of what I had done or experienced. Some have been reactions to medications. I have had people tell me, “You can sue for that, you know.” For what? For finding out that I have an allergy to something that I had never been given before. Instead of suing, I just made sure that it is now on my medical history so that I do not have to have a reaction again.
Life is not, repeat, not, about blaming others and winning big bucks in the litigation game. Life, rather, is about taking responsibility for every thought, word, and deed that we have. No one makes us entertain the thoughts that we have. No one makes us act on those thoughts. No one forces us to do anything against our will. It is we who decide what we are going to do and we who execute our thoughts.
If we keep up this sense of being wronged by anything that comes our way and blaming others for our lives, we will — and many do — blame God as well. “Why should I pray, God doesn’t do what I want?” “Why should I go to church? God hasn’t found me a job.” “Why should I believe in God? The world has wronged me.” If I had a dollar every time I heard these, and similar, statements from others through the years, I could have purchased a private island and retired to it years ago.
Let’s open our eyes and realize that we do not do anything that we have not wanted or agreed to do. Anything that comes our way because of that is our responsibility and not the fault of others. Since it is unlikely that we will sue ourselves in court, let us, instead, own up to what happens to us, learn from our mistakes, however grave they may be, and do better this day.
FAITH ACTION: Make sure to take responsibility for everything that you think, do, and say today.