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Responsibility is a Choice

We celebrated Thanksgiving in the United States last Thursday. It was as odd a day as I’ve spent in a while.

The atmosphere was that of a hushed, wary truce — as if hostilities had ceased, but we all knew the cessation would be brief. The coronavirus hung like a pernicious pall over everything and everyone, while the racial and political climates felt like a bottle of nitroglycerine in a velvet bag: The peace was soft and slightly indulgent, but we all knew it would explode with the slightest tremor or jostle.

Even our neighborhood was quiet — gray, rainy, dreary, chilly. It seemed even the weather knew: We were taking a day to make room for rest and sustenance. But the world would resume its hostilities tomorrow because that’s what the world does these days. At the very least, it’s what the world appears to do these days. Why is that?

Why does life seem to be so difficult? Is everything we’re led to believe true? Are we really the sum of our irreconcilable differences? Are we congenitally unable to recognize our similarities and to be united by them for shared good? Is a malady that kills people in roughly the same numbers as yearly traffic accidents really a plague of Biblical proportions? Does it warrant forced isolation and economic ruin?

Regardless of what we do or do not want to think — regardless of what we do or do not do — we still have one asset that can’t be taken from us: choice. Our lives are ours to live the way we choose to live them. We can succumb to the bullsh#t. But all the bullsh#t in the world can’t change the fact we have choices. And we can choose to do better.

That puts responsibility in a whole new light, doesn’t it?

Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brienhttps://obriencg.com/
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.

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