On personal responsibility

As I step deeper into the world of yoga and start to explore the instructional side, the area of “taking personal responsibility for yourself and your actions” is one area that keeps cropping up.
My teachers are big on this – over and over they remind us that at the end of the day YOU are the one responsible for yourself and your actions. You must be responsible for understanding your limits and when it comes to yoga, apply that understanding to practice. You are to know when you are just being lazy and can give more and you are to know when you need to show yourself some kindness and back off.

Turns out that advice applies off that mat too

One of my favorite bloggers, Erika from Redhead Writing, just touched on similar topic, approaching it from parental/child rearing standpoint. Her post was prompted by 10 minute long video posted about Karen H. Klein, a 68-year-old school bus monitor in Greece, NY being bullied by 4 of the kids on the bus. One of the bullies posted the video to Facebook, from where it hit YouTube and went viral wildfire style.
School authorities, parental units and the rest of the internet connected world are  in on this, and the world is pitching in to send Karen on a vacation of a lifetime. Click here to be a part of that action. The kids, assuming their parents are worth their salt, will likely eat enough humble pie to last a lifetime. I’m sure they knew they were being little shits, but they thought they would get away with it. The little bullies just got themselves a great lesson in what-goes-around-comes-around.

But back personal responsibility. In her post, Erika mentions a few things that struck her as she watched the video and read the surrounding news stories. What really resonated with me were these two points from her post:

  • If you’re a parent, schools aren’t foster parents or daycare centers. Start raising your fucking kids. Stop being their FRIEND and start setting limits.
  • If you’re a school administrator or teacher, bus driver, teacher’s aide…stop taking shit from kids. Stop it. Just fucking stop it. You’re not responsible for raising these kids, but you can demand the respect you deserve for doing one of the most admirable jobs in the world.

Now I’m not a parent, but this really is a good notion for those out there that are.
My parents are not my friends – they are my parents!  I respect the hell out of both of them, and I love them to pieces and I’ll always want to spend more time with them than I get to.  Friend – no – a parent is so much more. Ask anyone who has lost one. You can get new friends, but a great parent – you can’t replace really replace one of those.
Have respect for others, have respect for yourself.  Do not trample on others, do not tolerate being trampled on.

Simple really. So lets all pitch in to make this world a better place.
Let’s get kind, but firm that kindness up with a strong character that shows and asks for respect, on and off the mat.
Namaste.

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