Time to take a look at another of my quote images, and for this time it’s time for a big clock…
Big Ben as it happens, one of the most famous clocks in the world.
I took that on a sunset photo taking session, and although the sun didn’t quite set where I wanted it too (stupid sun!), I did get some shots that came out OK.
Big Ben is an iconic tourist image – you’ll see it on tee shirts, hats, tea towels, umbrellas, key rings, anything that the tourist stalls can sell. That’s because it’s known all over the world, if you show someone something with Big Ben on, they’ll know you’ve been to London.
Actually Big Ben is just a nickname, and more than that, it’s only a nickname for the bell that rings, and it’s not as old as many imagine. 1859 was when it was completed, so not going back to deep British history as you might think.
Another thing that people think of when they see Big Ben, is government, the seat of power, and it’s this point that struck me when I looked back at the photos.
Big Ben is at one end of the Palace of Westminster, and this *does* go way back into the past, being a residency of the monarch from the 11th century, and the government from the 13th century. Still owned by the Queen, it’s where the Houses of Commons and Lords make the laws, so there is huge power and decision making going on there.
Of course, a lot of that decision making is derided as flawed – politicians have a dreadful reputation of being out to look after the interests of themselves and their mates, with the interests of ‘the people’ being secondary, at best.
It’s the government that gets ‘the blame.’
Well, hang on…
Since the government is elected by the people, and is made up of both those that won the election and those that didn’t, pretty much every decision will have opposition and people unhappy with it.
A decision that has some people unhappy, will have others that are quite happy!
It’s the negative that gets the coverage though, and it’s this aspect of ‘blaming the government’ that I want to focus on.
It is very easy to do. Whichever party is in power, whether you voted for them or not, or whether you even voted at all (!), it’s very easy indeed to say “it’s the government’s fault” to hang your problems on.
Now, don’t get me wrong, some decisions by the government may well indeed cause specific difficulties or challenges, or hardships. I’m not saying otherwise, but I *am* saying that we must not shirk taking our own share of responsibility.
I have 2 ways of coming at this…
Firstly, if the government is so useless, gets it wrong to the extent that everything is their fault, and you know so much better, than why don’t *you* try it! With a few exceptions, anyone can stand to be an MP, and take their place on those green seats making those decisions.
The electoral system in Britain is set up specifically so that you can do this. The barriers to doing it are almost non existent, and the House of Commons is well served by people coming in with experience of ‘real’ life outside the political circles.
So, why don’t you!
I’ve made this point to a lot of people, and the response I get nearly all the time is ‘I don’t want to,’ or even more pertinently ‘I can’t be bothered’.
Ah, can’t be bothered? You won’t be surprised to hear that I don’t have much truck with this kind of response! I’ve written over and over about the power of taking action instead of moaning, and the subject of politics brings this up repeatedly in discussions.
Not everyone wants to be a politician, I understand that, and of course that’s OK.
Not wanting to be a politician doesn’t exclude you, or make you ‘wrong’, for being unhappy with the government either, I accept that as well, but my main point is about the words I use in the image – passing the buck…
Do you have a specific complaint, with an alternative idea, or are you in fact just passing that buck?
This brings me to the second angle of not shirking responsibility and it’s this – take the responsibility!
Taking personal responsibility for your own actions is a game changer (something else I’ve written before!). Moving away from government decisions about the country, let’s look closer at that personal level – *your* personal level.
Who governs your life?
Do you expect someone else to do it? Do you let someone else do it?
Do you follow your own agenda, or do you live to other people’s agendas?
This could be your friends, your family, work colleagues, peer pressure, your background. Do you let these external influences override what you’d choose yourself?
It can be all to easy to blame these factors for any perceived problems, and while I come back to the point that these factors can play a part, and it can be a big part, I also come back to this question of personal responsibility.
If you’re not living the life you want, why not?
In the key areas of health, wealth, career, relationships and lifestyle, is everything how you’d like it, and if not I ask again, why not?
The question that follows next is ‘what are you going to do about it?’
If you haven’t got the answers to these questions, the next step is to work out those answers, because it could well be that there is plenty that you could do. Not things for other people to do, but things that *you* could do.
They might be challenging, yes. Awkward, difficult, hard. Yes, they might be.
But, and it’s a big but, if you take on these actions, if you take personal responsibility, then the control of your life comes back to you. You’re steering the ship.
This is a choice. That means of course that you can choose not to take on the actions, or not to even accept that it’s down to you at all, but if you do that? Well, you’re just passing the buck, aren’t you?
So, look to those key areas in your own life. Compare the current circumstances to the ideal ones you’d prefer. Look to the decisions and actions you’ve taken in the past, and look to your decisions and actions going forward.
Ask yourself – who is governing you? You could just pass the buck, yes, but wouldn’t it better if you started governing yourself?
Ok, as ever, do let me know what you think – I love the feedback!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,