Who Determines Who?

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Responsibility is one's ability to choose a response. 

Who Determines Who?

Being determined. There are two ways of looking at it. Do you determine? Or have you been determined?

"We, Filipinos, are always late."

"Of course I'm hot-headed. I'm Italian!"

Do your forefathers control your behaviour? Dr. Stephen Covey* calls this Genetic Determinism.

Perhaps, as a child, you were raised by your parents never to argue or disobey. Today, anxiety and fear overcome you; you can't speak up and raise a dissenting opinion. Or maybe it's the opposite: as if it's "payback" time, you  challenge every view that differs from yours. Looks like your parents are still doing it to you! This is called Psychic Determinism.

How about your spouse, your boss, the media, your government leaders, people around you? Do they determine what you do, how you feel, how you respond? Do you react based on their attitude, their behaviour, their statements, decisions, and actions or lack thereof?  That's Environmental Determinism.

"I can't" and "I have to".  You may not notice it but the more that you are being determined, the more you tend to say these. 

Yes, it is important to recognize our ancestry, our formative years with our parents, and our day-to-day dealings with others around us. It is important to understand and respect them. We draw many good things from them. They help form our values and enrich our experiences. They are all a part of us and it's good to appreciate their influence. 

And that's what they are - an influence. In the end, what we do and how we feel and how we respond to these influences are choices that belong to each of us.  We are all responsible for ourselves. (Responsibility. Response ability - one's ability to choose a response.)


When the alarm clock wakes you up tomorrow, stay in bed for a few minutes and think a bit. Determine what you want to accomplish. Then make your choices. Determine what you want to be, and become that. Act. Do not be acted upon. 

Then have a great day!

- Ramon Regozo

* This write-up is based on the teachings of Dr. Stephen Covey, renowned author of the best-seller, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. More at http://stevencovey.com





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Last modified: December 11, 2006