"Take responsibility"- I do not recall this phrase until college. Until that time, everything went according "to plan". Judging by my grades from University, I do not function well under stress.
Eight years at Columbia House, one tavern and two houses later: again, I do not recall anyone saying I need to take responsibility. Was the responsibility assumed? We do not know.
Madonna said that "Experience has made me rich…" and I, too, have been enriched by various experiences, however, unlike, Madonna, no one is "after me".
When unfortunate situations occur and empty phrases like "take responsibility are heard, know that reactionaries are near.
Gentle Researcher, you will notice that this nugget of wisdom is never heard when events are going well, even when one struggles to achieve and maintain success.
In response to "take responsibility", one should enquire to what extent that one could reasonably control or manage the situation. It is amazing that at times people will assign responsibility, usually during prospers times, to chance, to fate or to "dumb luck", but when random chance does occur, as it inevetibilty must, "take responsibility is the choral refrain. In fact, one can not control events, as we are not omnipotent and only possessing limited power, mostly to react to ever changing circumstances.
Gentle Researcher, please bear in mind that the most opportune time to utter this meaningless advice is not during the time of the crisis, but long after the relevent issue has passed. Preferably, for maximum effect, the lapse of time should be measured in years.
We recall that "Appearance tyrannizes over truth"; where the facts or truth are to be understood as the struggles not seen and they can never be seen; endurance that, at times, approaches the limits of what it means to be human. No passing thought is given to what is not perceived by sight alone and we should not expect any rationality from those who make flippant and meaningless statements whose only purpose is neither to help nor to encourage, but to inflict additional suffering-for there is little doubt that the recepiant is aware of his circumstances and has thought out the possibilities for all levels of resolution-not just the preferred optimum outcome.
Gentle Researcher, unfortunately, I am unable to provide further insight into either the preserved meaning of "taking responsibility" or the hoped for effect and, in conclusion, it seems that although we are seen as "material girls in a material world" or as "a spectacle to angels and men" and if, in an unguarded moment we occasionally hear "…I've always been the one to blame", our higher nature quickly replies, if only sotto voce, that "We are spirits in the material world".