“Take Total Responsibility – Who is to Blame?,” by Nev Sagiba

This one really presses people’s buttons.

When you are attacked, the responsibility is entirely your own!

Nobody likes to hear it and the vitriol comes up soon to be followed by voluble morally indignant arguments that make sense only to a confirmed excuse-maker who is in fact making a statement that he or she, has made a choice to remain stuck on the wheel and stay a victim of circumstances for the rest of their life.

Aside from Morihei Ueshiba, I think it was the Buddha who had the clarity to make this assertion with confidence.

You are responsible!

I am responsible!

It’s like wrestling, jujitsu or aikido, move what you can, stabilize, adjust yourself and flow returns to make things happen. As if by itself: Aiki! Small moves can make great changes.

I have an acquaintance who likes to believe that every time something goes wrong, someone has put the “evil eye” on him. Now that’s a good cop out. It holds no water. Other people have other mechanisms. Some of these like to pose behind “scientific” rhetoric, but when the argument is out, there is not one atom of science (knowing of fact) in it, merely superstition dressed up in quasi scientific rhetoric. That’s a bucket too. A hollow bucket of manure.

If you don’t think that you are responsible for your choices, for the time you leave and the time you return, for the things you choose to do and the things you choose not to, for the places you go and for the places you avoid, for the people you associate with and those not… and so on… then I ask you: Who is pulling your strings?

Whilst you can’t “change the world,” you can indeed, difficult as this may often seem, change yourself!

Even, be this in small, manageable, regular installments of reshaping habits and refining skill.

By changing yourself, you do influence the world and every relationship in it. The Butterfly Effect is alive and well. Not in a revolutionary way but in an evolutionary way. It may take a while for a tree to grow to the point where it bears fruit., but it is reasonably predictable, given the right conditions, it will.

So with all things.

A student kept complaining that he only got attacked when he stopped training. The pubs he was frequenting may have contributed somewhat, but when he was training, apparently the brawls seemed less or nonexistent to him.

Another person got his expensive mobile phone stolen at a pub where drug addicts and other felons hang out. Now that’s a difficult decision. If you want to stay out of trouble simply don’t go where trouble is. And if you need to communicate, even the cheapest cell phone will do the job.

Commonsense is not nuclear science. Perhaps we sometimes get to addicted to drama and go looking for trouble that never needed to happen.

And yet again, another is employed to take care of trouble and apprehend those who make it. He’s never been hurt. Why? Unlike his work mates, he trains.

Conversely I met a Buddhist nun whose life before she became a nun was filled with more suffering than most people could hope to bear. Her conclusion? “I chose this life. I chose my parents, the place I was born, the circumstances of my life and the pressures that drove me to seek awakening. I am responsible.”

Where is she now? Sitting cross-eyed and cross legged contemplating the greed for an unattainable “enlightenment?” No. She is reaching out and actively working to alleviate the suffering of others.

Change what you can. Leave alone what you can’t for now. And learn to know the difference.

Funnily, or not, the great mystery is that those people I know who are dedicated to serious creative endeavours serving society, rarely, if ever get attacked.

Being conscious of your surroundings helps. So does being prepared and improving yourself as a human being who chooses to be empowered.

It’s impossible to be empowered and an excuse making blamer at the same time, just as it is impossible to be a coward whilst actively serving and saving lives.

Either you are busy visualizing, focusing and doing, or you are leaking and draining energy whining and wasting time and life. Either forming good associations or bad ones.

With each breath, you are closer to death. That’s an irrevocable fact nobody can change. The past is gone forever. The future is unknown.

Why waste the precious present. At each moment the whole universe and all its potentials are offering themselves for you use.

Try this experiment. Take total responsibility for everything that has ever happened to you, is happening and will happen. At least try to drop the egocentric, self-important arrogance that lives under the surface show of humility. Simply be open and honest. Include your dark side.

Then get a good, clear mirror and look into it. See how long you can sustain eye contact with yourself. It’s not easy for people who carry lies about themselves. If after an hour you get bored, quit. You must be an enlightened being or something.

Excuses, such as “who can find the time” is a sure sign that you are entirely hypnotized by the Matrix and you want to stay that way. There’s no blue or red pill, merely honesty and dishonesty. And bullshit, no matter how you dress it up, is just that.

Taking responsibly for your choices indeed does change things. It modifies a whole series of actions and reactions by altering a number of interconnected chains of events.

Who is responsibly for an individual’s life. God? The devil? Or oneself?

The mind and beliefs are so powerful that what you believe becomes true; at least for you. You make it so by positioning yourself accordingly. Those who choose to channel this mind to formulating loftier beliefs, generally modify their actions and activities to reflect their ideas, and thereby, taking full and entire responsibility for the navigation of their own life, dispel blame for the illness that it is; and start steering into the direction of choice.

Each experience is a teaching. If you disparage its value, you waste the teaching. If you accept it as a gift of universal energy you become its master.

Nobody can address a thousand tasks at once. But one at a time with full focus becomes very possible.

Likewise for any attack you may experience, but more so, if, knowing we live in a world of intense energy exchanges, we practice to be prepared and fit to meet the challenges and adversities on the way.

Each step is a gain. Choose good steps.

Hence Budo. And if you want to really refine this art of navigating energy, then Aiki Budo.

Take it from there. You innately know the rest.

Nev Sagiba


  1. amen brother

  2. …i’ll stick to basics. awareness. the more aware you are, the more time you have in a bad situation. time is distance to either engage or flee. furthermore, predators seek openings. awareness presents fewer of them. so, if you’re taking in your surroundings 360º for whatever reason, except maybe fear, the predator will probably prefer the type with the ipod in one ear and the cell phone in the other strolling down the street engaged in conversation. i met an apprentice pickpocket the other day. he saw me. i saw him. he was worried whether i was security or a cop or something. but when i was standing in line talking with a friend waiting to buy a cup of coffee, he, at least i think it must have been him, hung a little folding metal button on my collar…

  3. Nev,

    Although your messages are always a bit “soap-boxey,” I do admire how you pierce right to the heart of things with no nonsense whatsoever. As I’ve told you before, your blogs provoke much thought that a reader has full freedom to consider.

    Something about which I’ve been pondering made me think about it again in your blog-essay. Society truly is a dichotomy in that a person either trusts in good or evil, and that’s it. Good ones recognize others, and evil ones recognize their kind. There are practically two species of people existing in this same biosphere.


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