Fault vs. Responsibility

“Take your power back,” says Will Smith. “Take responsibility for your heart, your life. Taking responsibility is not the same as letting somebody else off the hook for what they did.”

One of the hardest realities about having been abused as a child — and suffering all the fallout over all the years that follow — is that, while we still are struggling to realize that the abuse was not our fault, survivors only progress out of darkness into healing and light by choice.

We who did not choose to be harmed must choose to do whatever it takes to overcome the harm. And, also, in many cases, it is part of healing to bear witness to authorities about evildoing in which some authorities may even be complicit. These are not easy realities, not easy things to do, and … sometimes we can feel stuck.  This process is true for a survivor and also for anyone who cares for a survivor.  Yet, what’s the end game?

Beyond securing safety and assigning fault … we’re still left with the broken heart, broken lives, broken dreams … broken relationships. Something lies beyond getting clear about our innocence. It’s assuming responsibility.

Recently, Will Smith made a 2.5 minute video that went viral, speaking the hard truth about the difference between fault and responsibility. It received high grades from some survivors, so we feature it here.

It’s a tough lesson that the cross we bear is not from our own sins, but from the sin of others against our innocence. But, in accepting that, we find hope. We hope you find this pretty neat guy’s thoughts helpful.


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