Where The Buck Stops

“Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

` John F. Kennedy

Oh, it is so easy to blame someone else for our troubles. To find fault elsewhere. To see cause that is outside of our own agency. To pass the buck.

When a problem with a relationship arises, it is often easier for me to see what the other person did to create it, than look for what part I might have played. If something doesn’t turn out the way I expected, I’m tempted to turn over every other rock to find the cause except the one laying at my feet. If I don’t get what I thought I paid for, I can be quick to demand a refund and slow to consider that perhaps I didn’t do my homework before pulling out my credit card.

Whether it is an issue in a relationship, a breakdown in communication, a lack of clarity around expectations, or a disappointing result, if I am willing to look closely, I can almost always find what role, no matter how small, I might have played in the way things turned out. When I take ownership for what is mine, there is almost always something I can do to address the situation. When I allow the buck to stop at my desk before moving on, it allows me to look for ways that I can take action to help resolve the conflict, bring closure, clear the air, extend forgiveness, offer an apology, bring clarity, open a door, resolve the problem, or change the outcome.

I’m not saying that others aren’t culpable for their part of the bargain.

They are.

So am I.

Viborg Cathedral - Viborg, Denmark

Viborg Cathedral - Viborg, Denmark