Imagine you wake up in the morning to the unpleasant surprise that a cow has left a number 2 right at your doorstop. At this point you might be a bit bemused and annoyed at the same time.
You start to wonder: “How did this even get here? I live in an apartment building on the second floor and there are no elevators…”
“Whoa, why didn’t whoever’s cow this was didn’t clean this up! They better sort this out before I get back from work.”.
“Not my problem” you think as you rush out the door, careful not to step in the nasty puddle. You forget about it and get on with your day.
By the time you get home from work and shopping you find the puddle of cow excrement still posing as the most unwelcoming welcome-mat in front of your door. By now you start to get a bit pissed off. The smell has started to creep into your apartment and as you open a window your mind starts to spin.
“Why is this still here? Why didn’t anyone clean this up?”
By now you start looking for something to blame.
“It wasn’t my fault, why should I suffer? It’s not my responsibility to deal with it… It sure wasn’t my cow who left it here. Plus aren’t there supposed to be cleaners employed by the firm I rent this place from?”
All the while the puddle remains where it is, slowly but steadily stinking up your place.
Now imagine a different scenario. Again you wake up to the puddle of cow excrement located in front of your door in the apartment complex you live. After getting over the shock you get a large roll of toilet paper, a bin-bag and whatever useful stuff you have lying around and just deal with the situation. After the bin-bag has been thrown out to the garbage disposal bin outside and you quickly mopped the floor you rush off to work. By the time you get back from home you made a quick phone-call to the landlord to notify him about the situation this morning. Your house smells fresh, and you can enjoy the rest of your evening without even having to worry about the smelly puddle again.
We tend to be quick to brush off responsibility when we feel like we weren’t the cause of the situation. In the first scenario you didn’t take responsibility, since it wasn’t your fault. In the second you just took the responsibility and acted on it to resolve the issue. However, whether you acknowledged it or not, in both situation you were fully responsible for the situation.
Anything that affects you is your responsibility. This is not to say that everything that affects you is your fault. Not at all. However, it’s up to you to deal with whatever life throws at you. This is simply because, if you don’t, you’ll have to live with the consequence, whatever the outcome may be.
If you’re presented with a shitty situation that stinks up your life, try to find a mop and clean it up and move on with your life. You’ll be a lot happier when you do so.