Responsibility: Nature or Nurture?
A wealthy broker on Wall Street is stuck now after making bad choices on whether to cash in his stocks to pay his million dollar mortgage or work all year to save his home and his job, and a student working two jobs to pay for school is failing out of college because he is missing classes to catch up on sleep. These characters are similar in many ways; neither want to fail, but both have neglected their personal responsibilities. They have both come to an inevitable fact of life that we all have hard choices to make. Some are beyond our control, some are activities we do or morals we follow because they happen to be imperative to our success and our survival just the same. Activities like going to work so we can have shelter and food, or making sure we drink a certain amount of water every week so we wont die. Society has placed personal responsibility on a high pedestal because it is a way to reach our goals and climb higher on the social ladder. Reaching your goals is how society views your success, but it is not just the way you reach your goals, but how you reach them. Personal responsibility is not specific; you cannot judge the importance of a person’s responsibility higher than someone else’s. A student’s college degree and a millionaire’s house can be the same in value depending on how high a person places their priorities. I believe that personal responsibility can be both taught and be instinctual. What I think doesn’t come naturally is a lack of personal responsibility. Neglecting the basic necessities of life and refusing to follow the simple rules of life is what makes someone unable to achieve success not following the simple rules of life is what makes someone unable to achieve success.
Whether it is only because our life depends on it, or so we can get along as good citizens in society does not or shouldn’t matter. When you look at both situations, the bottom line becomes that it is in our subconscious. Survival is in our subconscious. Making sure we take care of our needs is in our nature. Succeeding and fitting into society is in our subconscious. Getting along with society is something we learn, morals are practiced and nurtured. If the success to someone were getting a high GPA, than they would set their priorities to doing everything required to gain a high grade point average. If it is taking extra classes or doing extra work, they will make it their personal responsibility to make sure they succeeded and reached their goal. If the success to another person were winning the Summer Olympic races, they would set their priorities to building a stronger and faster physique to aid in reaching their goal. The key words in those scenarios are, doing everything required. That is the how, the other ingredient to how society views success. How hard an individual worked to achieve success, the sacrifices they made, and where they placed their priorities. Whether it is winning the Olympics or passing tests, nobody is okay with failure. Society views failure as neglecting your personal responsibilities. What proves personal responsibility is already in us or something that we learned from our parents is difficult to say in a short sentence.
By taking our characters out of the equation we can focus more on the heart of what personal responsibility is. Supporting this claim is an article excerpt stating, “Personal responsibility is the willingness to both accept the importance of standards that society establishes for individual behavior and to make strenuous personal efforts to live by those standards.” Accepting the importance of society's standards is the “taught “part. The morals and codes passed down from generations we adapt to. Codes of ethics like working, taking care of your health, and being educated. These are some of the basic ideas to follow to be accepted as a successful individual in...
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