Personal Responsibility

May 7, 2018 11:55 pm

A blessing is defined as God’s favor and protection; a prayer asking God for favor and protection; and grace said before a meal. But that’s not how people use the word blessing now a days. Most people use it as a way to describe a wonder in their lives or a small miracle. Lucky, would be the better word to use in most of those instances.

The topic of God and religion is a long and old argument with no clear winner. I was raised Catholic and so was the husband, but neither of us identify as that. I have my beliefs that I share with the husband and that’s what we’ll teach 2kicks, but I don’t believe in blessings. I don’t think that there’s a supreme being, for which I have to curry favors for so that bad things don’t happen. Excuse me? I don’t think so.

Someone asked me, “you don’t think you’re daughter is a blessing?”

Let’s unravel that for a minute, shall we:

  1. 2kicks is not a favor or a protection from God, and she didn’t just appear at our doorstep. After we got married, the husband and I had planned, unprotected intercourse and surprising no one, I got pregnant. Science.
  2. We discussed our resources and worked on a road map for a sustainable future, i.e a good job for the husband, a small affordable house, nutrition, education and family.
  3. We changed our lifestyles, attended the pre-natal classes, and took all the precautions necessary to increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy.
  4. We acquired all the bare necessities and prepared a safe and protective environment for the infant to come.
  5. We read anything and everything that we could get our hands on to learn more about our options. There’s a million different ways to raise children right… but there’s a only handful of ways to do it wrong.
  6. If my child is a blessing, does that mean that I’m in God’s favor? Does that mean that there are people not in God’s favor? Why? Aren’t we all his children? What about kids that are born with health issues, or not that smart. Did does parents not deserve a blessing?

Our daughter is a planned child, she didn’t fall in our laps, and we weren’t born with the knowledge to raise a child. We didn’t pray to have a healthy, smart child. We worked at it.

I joined the service to pay for college. Six months in, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do my four years and then take another four years to go to school. There was no way I could afford that, so I started testing for classes that I knew I could pass. When you’re in the service, you can take all the tests for free, but if you fail you have to wait six months to take it again. I took a CLEP and or DANTE for Spanish, Religion, Ethics, several Histories, Algebra, Geometry and Chemistry. The irony of passing Chemistry with a test is that I failed it in high school, but still it counted. After I was done with all the tests I could take and pass, that’s when I started taking classes. So for the rest of my enlistment, I was also attending college full time. I lived on coffee and cigarettes, averaging four hour-sleep nights, with absolutely no social life, no summer or spring breaks, with two mayor deployments, and several small ones, for three years. My degree it’s not a blessing, I payed for it with blood, sweat and tears.

Let’s not forget inheritances. Are they blessings? Or did a family member work really hard, made some informed decisions and was a responsible member of society? For some reason, ‘inheritances’ have a, je ne sais quoi, negative connotations about them. I think that if somebody in your family left you something, anything, it means that they loved you and cared for your well being. What you actually do with that inheritance says more about you, than your family member, and that action will definitely scream about your ‘character’. And I hope that, most of us know that most ‘characters’ are not defined by their inheritances.

I laugh every time I see the hashtag blessed. Is it really a blessing? Is it luck? Perhaps you didn’t have anything to do with your blessing, could it be privilege? Let’s not forget about privilege. The husband didn’t have to join the service for college, but his parents worked very hard so he wouldn’t have to. Is that a blessing, or responsible parenting? I found a twenty dollar bill once, is that a blessing or luck? Very much not a blessing for the person who lost the bill. Was that person not in favor with God? That theory would mean that God might have been mad at them, and therefor punished them? After reading the Bible cover to cover, three times, I was under the assumption that the Christian God was a forgiving God. And yes, I know that “the Lord works in mysterious ways”, but not for me. It seems pretty much straight forward.

What about when something goes wrong? Are we also not responsible for that? Did your actions have nothing to do with the events that transpired? Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Most of us know this. It worries me when people count things as blessings, cause they are not taking responsibility for whatever good they did. The husband still had to work hard to get into college.

When people do something bad, are they also not taking personal responsibility? It’s hard to say, that’s my fault, my bad or I broke it, when you’ve never had to. Phrases like it was meant to be, or it was the Lords will get thrown around like explanations or a valid reason. When I make mistakes, I own up to them, because I know I can and will have to fix them, because I don’t blame anybody for them and nobody is going to come and fix them for me or tell me that it’s not my fault. I don’t pray for guidance: I read the manuals.

The Universe is big and powerful, but the World doesn’t owe me anything. I believe in Karma. I believe in the rule of three: whatever you do, good or bad, will come back to you three fold. Whether these things are true or not I do not know. I know that I like to be busy. I know that I like taking on projects. I know that I’m happier when I help others. I know that there is an infinite amount of good to do in the world. I know that I want to show my kid that she can and should be a nice person.

And as far as the awesomeness that happens in my life, I will also take full credit, because I can also say I worked very hard for that, I sacrificed for this or we planned it. I’m not blessed. I’m not lucky. What I am is smart, capable and most important, willing to do what I have to do to live the life I want.

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