If it is not my fault, then it is not my responsibility!
Not so fast. This is a difficult notion to consider, but taking responsibility does not necessarily mean the circumstances are our fault, or that we caused them to happen.
For instance, for many men, their dads were physically or emotionally absent growing up. The son cannot be blamed for this. It is not his fault his dad was disengaged.
At the same time, the son does have a responsibility now as a man. Said another way, he is now response-able. He can respond to the situation at hand.
While his dad may have not provided the needed training for his masculine development, the son can now find a mentor or coach who will train him into a life-giving manhood.
It is the son’s responsibility as a man to now get rooted – to take the time to grow up those parts of him neglected as a boy.
It’s not your fault if your dad was not there for you growing up, but it is your responsibility to now get rooted as a man.
Likewise, an individual man cannot be faulted for the harmful choices of other men toward women. Yet, when women do blame us, we tend to react by blaming them in turn. This is an understandable human response, but there is a better way.
Even here we can take responsibility, without assuming fault.
We take responsibility by doing our part to provide a better example of masculinity – to live with such integrity, strength, and passion that others (women and men) can experience the depth of our goodness toward them.
We take responsibility by not repaying blame with more blame, but on the contrary, by responding with love.
It’s not your fault other men have caused so much harm to women, but it is your responsibility to raise the standard of masculinity.
The sins of others are not our fault, but it is still our responsibility to love.