Our culture is very litigious, and frequently individuals avoid personal accountability for their actions — unfortunately. An important statement here is:
“I believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I said.”
Over the years, I have had a number of people tell me what I have told them, and I did not recognize how they could have possibly arrived at their conclusions. Even written statements are subject to major misinterpretation, despite my best intentions.
My personal philosophy has been based on my exposure to Gestalt Therapy, and although Gestalt does not directly espouse a philosophy, it emphasizes certain primary characteristics for effective living:
- awareness — attention to one’s actual experience, especially using sensory-grounded description. The primary maxim of Gestalt Therapy is: awareness, in and of itself, is therapeutic.
- contact — meeting the environment directly, and as fully as possible.
- personal responsibility — acting into the ability to respond.
To this I would add: personal accountability — I create my world. My ongoing choices lead me into experiences, and all choices have consequences. It is my personal responsibility to acknowledge that I create my world, and to accept the consequences of my actions. On rare occasions, I am an innocent victim of the universe (especially true of children). I am never one when my pain is recurrent — always I contribute to my own suffering. I have no power to change the universe; I do have power to change my self.
However, my culture does not live by these rules. Therefore it is useful for me to state the limitations of what I offer in this blog.
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