I’m Responsible for Everything
In my junior year of college, I was struggling. It was because I had poor teachers, no girlfriend, unfocused studying, and complex subjects. I nearly dropped out of college but wanted to try one more year.
That was the summer of 1990, and a commercial for the book Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard blasted the airwaves. It promised to answer all of life’s questions, and I picked up a copy. The book was confusing, contradicting and did not help my situation, but there were life-enhancing tidbits. The author included contact information for local Scientology offices.
I set up an appointment since my life was spiraling into the drain. They directed me to a chiropractor’s office (he allowed them to use the building at night), and the people explained all about Scientology and how it could help.
I signed up for one introductory course, which included lessons, exercises, group activities, and one-on-one conversations to explain their philosophy. The course had badly Xeroxed pages with well-used reference books and passionately dedicated people.
I got a lot out of these sessions and obtained a new focus on life. The following school year, I hit the books hard. My grades turned around, and I felt much better about life. Continuing my self-improvement journey was natural, and I contacted them for more courses.
They no longer borrowed a chiropractor’s office; the new location was in an elegant downtown office building. They had replaced the badly Xeroxed pages, well-used books, and friendly people with slick workbooks, many new books, high prices, creepy people, and a distrusting atmosphere. I signed up for one expensive course and stopped after four sessions. Did they call me and ask why? No, they got their money.
Would I recommend Scientology to address your problems? If you could travel back to 1990 and have the same experience as I did, yes. Today, I would not recommend going near the organization because it has twisted into a monster about money, power, control, and mental dominance. Stay away! Yet, I think there is room for a rebirth. Take the good parts, add great people, and leave the monster behind. We could call it Hubbard’s witnesses:)
It is now 2023, which provides some perspective. How much of this knowledge do I use/practice in my present life? That is tough to answer. My 1990 life lacked focus, and the course was just what I needed. The combination helped build my mental foundation, and like my house’s foundation, I think little about it.
Yet, I have recently considered one of their lessons, “I am responsible for everything.” The intent was for the student to visualize taking on their lives. If you see a problem, fix it! What about world hunger? If it is important enough for you to be aware of the topic, contribute to the solution. What about the other million things wrong in this world? Please make a list and start working on it. The point was not to give up, but I never comprehended their approach because it was too big. How can I be responsible for everything?
Well, I want to take another whack at it. The lesson intends to identify all problems and cause you to do something about them. Directly take on the challenge and stop being on the sideline. That is undoubtedly good advice, but the problem is the execution. World hunger? The Ukraine War? All the upcoming movies look awful?
Even if I focused 100% of my entire life on one of those big issues, I would only make a minuscule difference. Such an approach would set me up for failure because I could never live up to my responsibilities. Yet, I now understand this was not the point. The point is to take on personal responsibility by identifying what is an essential responsibility.
World hunger may be at the bottom of the list, but there is something minor I can accomplish. At the supermarket, they have food for kid’s programs. Every time I shop, I could put in a dollar. Fix what I can fix. To do so, I need confidence so I will not back down. Is that good? Improving one’s life is always good.
That was the point, but they could have done better with that lesson. Form a list of responsibilities and a plan for each. Yet, being responsible for everything is a smack in the face. It is too difficult. The Bible, science, philosophy, and laws have similar confusing areas. They apply flat concepts that sound simple yet are deeply complex. Religious scholars, scientists, philosophers, and lawyers spend their entire lives trying to understand the true meaning of these powerful principles. With wisdom, one will appreciate that the journey is more important than the destination.
In 1990, I did not think I appreciated the concept of enormous responsibility because I did not have life experiences. Raising a child was indeed a new level of responsibility. I now think this concept is getting onto the lifetime path of being a more caring person. In retrospect, I have been on the responsibility journey all along. These milestones include graduating college, getting a job, living independently, having my family, and passing life lessons to my daughter. Plus, there is writing. I must take care of my characters and readers. Yet, I have the endless freedom to invent a new race or language. I could even travel back in time to fix a mistake. That’s kind of cool, but a lot of responsibility.

You’re the best -Bill
December 27, 2023
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