On more than one occasion, I’ve heard my daughter beller, “They’re making me mad.” Something I also did as a kid when my parents reprimanded me for fighting with my siblings. As youth, the sooner you not only recognize but also internalize the inherent flaw in this thinking the better off you’ll be. Nobody can make you do anything, and I mean anything—neither mental nor physical. Your agency, the ability to choose for yourself, is the most powerful element of the human race. Where ever you are. Whatever you’re doing. You chose it.
It’s easier to accept this concept when the consequence of a choice brings us success. We’ll bask in it, and make sure others know as well. “Did you see what I did?” But, when our choices cause us grief, pain, or embarrassment, the tendency to push the blame onto someone, or something else comes.
Yes, I realize some have stronger parameters in their life than others. Poverty, for example, is a very difficult thing to overcome. Yet, it does happen. We hear about it all the time. The news loves to bring us those feel good stories—and the fundamental catalyst was choice.
To live a life completely without regret is impossible. Sometimes we make the wrong choice, but the only way to learn from a mistake is to acknowledge it. People who exude great strength and leadership never cast the blame for their choices to others. I hope you will do the same, for it is imperative that our rising youth have these qualities.