The true American superpowers.

Responsibility. Accountability. Honesty. Integrity. Consequences.

These are more than words, these are the framework of decent human beings. It is the foundation from which we build our personal and professional lives.

This piece is not political – though it references recent events at the capital. This piece is not about white privilege or black lives – though it references protests of all kinds. This piece is not about gender or class – though it references bias that some may feel fall into their category.

This piece is about those five words that generations before us prided themselves on. It is about being responsible individuals who are accountable for our actions, knowing that there will be consequences. It is about being honest with ourselves and others, standing tall with integrity.

This piece is about decency. It is about empowerment. It is about resurrecting the superpowers that truly made America great.

From where I sit today, those five words have been replaced.

Responsibility has been replaced with irresponsibility. Accountability with blame. Honesty comes in various shades of gray. Integrity is now measured by opinion, no longer a character trait and consequences are extreme for some, yet none for others.

Why would anyone want to give their power to another by playing victim? Or blaming someone else for inciting them?

If we are incited to do wrong because of anyone’s words – even the leader of our free world – then we need to look closely at the mental state of those individuals and groups. Just because someone is in a position of power, we should not consider that person infallible.  Not the case. Every human being is flawed and imperfect – just like us.

When I allow someone else to provoke me to the point of rage and fury, that is on me – not them. I have the choice to react – then act upon my reaction. We all react. But making the decision to act takes a conscious effort. One that we have the time to reflect upon and choose to move forward with – or not. Free will.

Emotionally stable people equipped with the ability to think critically take ownership of their thoughts and actions. This requires strength, confidence and compassion for his fellow man. They do not invade, loot, burn or destroy property. They do not raise their hands, fists or weapons. They do not hurt others mentally, emotionally or physically.

Those are the weak, cowardly bullies of our society. Those are the people who cannot speak intelligently or debate their views. They are fueled by opinion and hate. They are ignorant, even if educated. And they resort to violence in an attempt to make their point.

So here we are focusing on those individuals and groups, shining a spotlight on their behavior. Publicizing and popularizing it. Blaming someone else.

It is not Trump, law enforcement, or the white man who caused this.

It is the person standing next to you in the supermarket. Maybe the one you work alongside each day. Your waiter, truck driver and banker. Your white collar and blue collar individuals. Your neighbor, friend and acquaintance.

It’s any individual who does not have control of their emotions and has blurred the line between right and wrong. It’s those looking for any excuse – not reason – to act out, to promote their agendas and bully for causes; those who welcome any opportunity to hurt and destroy, evoking fear and panic through the havoc they wreck on our society.

Then they blame someone else for making them do it.

They did it. It is their fault and we need to take a stand.

The unfairness when it comes to blame is astounding.  When Black Lives Matter protests grew out of hand, there was support – not condemnation.  When any protest grows out of hand, there should be condemnation – not support.  Yet the most critical element here is personal responsibility and accountability – with consequences.  It seems that the supposed Trump protest will get theirs – but what about the other protests?  Will they get theirs?

I’m a bleeding heart, I truly am, yet when people continually look for excuses to condone their bad behavior, I draw the line. 

We blame our childhood, past trauma and any other negative experience in life as if that is our passport to freedom – freedom from responsibility, accountability and consequences.  How wrong. 

I am no saint, but I take responsibility for my actions and strive to be a better person each day.  I have found my own kind of trouble over the years, but walked away from many opportunities because I was asked to compromise my integrity – and I just could not do it.  Professionally, I have paid the price, but my paycheck, home or material things do not measure my success. My success is measured by the intangible – my self-respect, my relationships and how I give back to a world that has been mostly kind to me.

At what point do we stand up and say, enough is enough.  When do we take back and fight for responsibility, accountability, honesty, integrity and consequences – rather than blame, weakness and victimhood?  Can we alleviate our hate to seek fairness?  And overcome our biases to evaluate reality?

Responsibility. Accountability. Honesty. Integrity. Consequences.

These are our superpowers.  And if we can rise up and overcome, we just may be able to save the future of our country.

 

 

 

 

Author: E.M. Murphy

A freelance writer, coach, eternal seeker and Renaissance soul who aims to open minds and hearts. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a NASM Certified Behavior Change Specialist, humanity and humor is at the heart of my writing, reminding us that the key to success will always start with a genuine concern for others while making sure to be true to our authentic selves.

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