I've been thinking a lot lately about personal responsibility. One of the first speeches I heard President Barack Obama give after his inauguration struck me as if it was personally directed toward me. He said that getting out of the economic hardship the company had been put in was going to be difficult and that he would do everything he could under his power. But...he was very clear about one thing. He and the government couldn't do it alone. A full recovery would require hard work and personal responsibility from those having difficulty getting by.
While I'm sure this point went zooming by for most, I thought it was extremely profound. Our President was clear that this wasn't a problem the government would be able to completely fix. Just as the problems after the Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam and the many other conflicts that have been brought about. The government helped but the bulk of the problem was fixed by people working hard and pushing themselves to provide for their families. In older times, these people worked longer hours had more difficult conditions and didn't have iPhones to play with, but persevered nonetheless. Have we gotten lazy when it comes to our personal responsibility?
In a government that has become gridlocked by extremely partisan politics, I believe that we have an even greater load of the responsibility than generations past. If we want to make lasting changes that will affect our children and our children's children, we need to not only work hard but we need to work smart. We need to rid ourselves of the debts we've taken on and we need to be smart about how to save our money for the future. We need to learn how to use our time wisely to not earn just one salary but to earn multiple streams of income through passive methods. We need to teach the future generations the value of hard work and to show that it's not just about leisure. The people who work the hardest and the smartest are the ones who are successful. Success is not about being constantly entertained, it's about being fulfilled. It is you, not the government, not your parents, not your television. It is you who is personally responsible for how well you do in life.
If we are going to return to a number one position in this world, we need to take President Obama's advice. We need to have personal responsibility of our lives. If enough of us do that, it won't be long before we return to a land of healthy freedom without debt and full of prosperity.