Being responsible for your own actions and choices.
We are responsible for our own choices and actions, but we are only responsible for the choices and actions of others if we are in a position of trust, for example as a teacher looking after students or as boss over employees. The local Colchester newspaper today gave three examples of those who failed to take personal responsibility, or went beyond their limits of responsibility.
The first example is a retail trader who sells stationary, announces he is closing his business due to health problems from traffic pollution. The retailer blamed the local council for failing to ban traffic from using the street he trades in. This retailer has been trading from the same location for over thirty years, in all this time he has the choice and responsibility to move his business to a better location, but he chose to stay and thus suffered harm from pollution. The irresponsible blames someone or something, though they need only look in the mirror to see the true culprit.
The second example is a resident who demands the local council kill all Colchester foxes because they rip their rubbish apart leaving a mess. Foxes are opportunistic creatures who naturally will enjoy an easy meal from carelessly stored trash. The council informs residents of rubbish collection day, the onus is upon the resident to secure their rubbish safely until rubbish collection day. It is easy to blame fox or council, but responsibility is with the resident to keep foxes away from their rubbish.
Last example is a responsible resident like me who attempts to keep their local nature park free of litter. People annoy me when they fail to take their rubbish home with them, however my responsibility stops at picking up litter, I have no right to tell people to pick up their litter, this is a form of control. In my opinion it is better to show rather than tell, to set an example that others may follow, never to take away choice of others by telling them what to think or do. My fellow resident found a discarded receipt thrown on the ground by some children, then demanded access to CCTV footage from a retail store so they could track the children down to lecture them on littering. Fortunately UK data protection laws bans private citizen access to CCTV footage, the last thing any parent wants is a hubristic vigilante at their door wanting to speak to their children.