Personal responsibility is part of the bedrock of America's goodness.
I live in Florida. There is a hurricane bearing down on us. Many Floridians take responsibility to prepare beforehand. We do our best to keep our families safe and not burden our neighbors and emergency services during and after the storm.
By taking care of myself and my family, I am not saying, "I've done my part, so screw you." In the case of Hurricane Matthew, many will find themselves overwhelmed. History tells us that millions of people will donate time and money to help those impacted by this and other disasters.
As John Smith acknowledged, personal responsibility always includes both self-reliance and charity. How are you handling your obligations to yourself and others in need?
Let's start with your financial responsibilities. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, taught that we each have a duty to "Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can."
Earn money. Work. It may not be your dream job, but do what you must to put food on the table and a roof over your head. Take care of yourself and your family. Do your job to the best of your ability and look for opportunities to improve your situation.
Save money. Pay for what you need but don't be reckless in your spending. Stay out of debt. Save for the unexpected.
Give money. Help those who can't help themselves. Set aside part of what you earn to help others.
But personal responsibility doesn't only involve money. Here are some examples:
You are responsible for taking care of your health. Think about the impact your health has on insurance premiums and other healthcare costs.
You are responsible for your sexual choices. If you can't afford to raise a child (who is your personal responsibility until they are an adult), don't get pregnant.
You are responsible for your stuff. A car or home in disrepair is a danger to you and to other people.
You are responsible for your behavior. Follow the law, watch your mouth, be kind.
You have a responsibility to help others. Read to a child, take a meal to an elderly neighbor, visit someone in the hospital. Share your time and abilities.
You get my drift and could probably add to the list. Self-reliance AND charity are what personal responsibility is all about.
Look at your life. Are you responsible for yourself and for helping others?
When we do a better job of taking care of ourselves, government doesn't have to. A little more personal responsibility would go a long way to making America good again.