Who Is Responsible For You?

by | May 10, 2015 | Commentary | 0 comments

A little boy does something his parents are not suitably impressed with. When he is reprimanded, his response is “but Thabo did the same” which is why he did it. He then gets – at least I hope he does – the relatively standard talk about how, just because someone does something, you shouldn’t do it. For example, “if Thabo jumped off a cliff, would you do the same?” As a child, I was on the receiving end of various derivatives of this talk, several times, and, as a parent, I often give the same talk.

“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” – Anne Frank

We are living in trying, exciting and historic times. We are living in a time when we do not need historians to document their perceived version of history because we do so ourselves, incessantly, literally every second of each day. The greater challenge for generations to come – if the species survives – will not be finding documented history or the pieces of history to puzzle together but rather sifting through the millions of versions and interpretations to find a truthful thread.

“I was told two wrongs don’t make a right but three rights make a left…” Ras Kass

I find it increasingly alarming that there are so many people out in the world who did not seem to receive “the talk” around taking responsibility for one’s own actions and utterances. Somehow, when someone does or says something that is eventually shared across the world through social and other media, the response is something down the line of “…but no-one did or said anything when such and such a person did or said something as bad…”

This life is a series of choices. Even decisions not made have a consequence. Living with the consequence is never easy but trying to shift the blame is like the child pointing out the thing that a friend or sibling did as an excuse for why they did what they did.

Just a thought.

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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