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Learning Responsibility is a Lifelong Process

Learning responsibility is an ever widening and lifelong process.

As thinking, acting human beings we have the ability to choose our response to events, people and circumstances. We do not become responsible when we mature; we mature when we become responsible.

Psychologists teach that the only reasons people are ever motivated or moved to action is to gain a reward or avoid a penalty. As you teach this principal to the children in your charge be sure to explain what they will gain or lose by the choices they make.

ME: I am in charge of those things that directly affect me as a person.

Examples are:

Grooming, nutrition, exercise, education, choosing friends, a mate or a career. My choices might irritate or disappoint others but the consequences will ultimately hurt only me.

YOU: My actions in this circle affect those I love and care about. I want you to like and approve of me, so I am motivated to do what will please you. I have a responsibility to those who work or live with me to do the things I say I will, accept blame when I am wrong, make restitution, be co-operative, care for my possessions and safeguard other people's resources. Consequences have a ripple effect on those around me and will affect my daily life.

US: The community within 10 miles of wherever I am standing determines us. Some people and organizations I know, some I don't know yet, but they are a part of my extended neighborhood. This is the place to practice random acts of kindness, courtesy and service. We are each the representative of the groups we belong to; family, teenagers, school, soccer team etc. The whole may be judged and influenced by our individual actions and role model. The reward may come later in life in the form of recommendations, job offers, networking and a stronger more vibrant community.

The Universe: I have a responsibility to the universal family of humankind to make the world a better place. I need to be a part of the solution of preserving the earth, eliminating bigotry, giving service, and treating others, as I would like to be treated. The Universe may never give me a tangible reward, but I will gain an inner reward of doing right and making good choices for the higher good of all. I recognize that I have a responsibility to not only have positive actions, but thoughts, words and intentions towards others and to act with dignity, respect and love. As parents and leaders we need to give children the opportunity to be responsible as early as possible. Teach the concept of a pause button in order to stop, think and choose before acting. Whenever they are allowed to have a voice and a choice, they will grow up knowing that they have the power to guide the outcome of their life and contribute to the well being of the group.

This handout? 2003 has been prepared by Judy H. Wright, Missoula, MT parent educator and author. You may have permission to make copies for other parents and teachers but the entire article, including the signature line, must be included. A complete list of parenting books, aids, workshops and a FREE ezine is available at www.ArtichokePress.com. To contact us, please write judywright@artichokepress.com or call 406-549-9813.

In The News:

Unidentified flying objects (UFOs) have captured the public's attention over the decades. As exoplanet detection is on the rise, why not consider that star-hopping visitors from afar might be buzzing through our friendly skies by taking an interstellar off-ramp to Earth?
NASA is committed to finding life in the universe and new evidence shows that they might be best suited looking at "Goldilocks stars" instead of stars known as red dwarfs.
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Young climate activists including Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg told business and political elites gathered Tuesday at the World Economic Forum that they aren't doing enough to tackle the climate emergency and warned them that time was running out.
A new study notes that squirrels have dominant sides to their bodies and are left or right-handed, just like humans.
NASA's plan is to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024, but the European Space Agency is working on a plan to help humans breathe on the celestial satellite — by turning moondust into oxygen.
Predators, especially small invertebrates like spiders, are more likely to be decimated when natural habitats get converted for human use, a new global study claims.
After a series of heartbreaking images of starving lions in Sudan were posted online, a global campaign is underway to save them.
Crocodiles have survived on Earth for 200 million years, but the prehistoric version of the resilient reptile was warm-blooded and not cold-blooded like the modern-day version, new research shows.
Instead of a regular apartment made of wood, concrete, glass and metal, every aspect of the space would be composed of a living fungus.
Tourists clamor to see Petra in Jordan, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Machu Picchu in Peru — onetime megacities that now capture our imagination and fuel legends. But they’re not the only mythic spots. Here are some of the most mysterious abandoned locales in the world.

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