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Jermaine Tan: Taking 100% Responsibility

As part of the Sophia Blackmore Leadership Programme, Jermaine Tan from Secondary 3A shared about the importance of responsibility and some useful tips on how to become more influential and responsible. Jermaine said, “Taking 100% responsibility makes us more influential people.”  (This speech was delivered in April 2021 during morning assembly.)

Jermaine’s Speech

Good morning Ms Chen, Vice Principals, teachers and fellow Fairsians. I’m Jermaine Tan from Secondary 3A. 

Have you ever heard from your teachers or parents that you have to take responsibility for your own actions? 

As the proverb popularised by the Spider-Man comic books written by Stan Lee goes, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ This was the conviction that kept Spider-Man faithful throughout his superhero journey. Though we are definitely not superheroes, we can learn from Spider-Man. All of us have an impact on the people around us and we can do good by being responsible for our own actions. 

First and foremost, what does being responsible even mean? When you hear the word ‘responsibility’, what comes to your mind first?

Many of us will think of the word ‘blame’, like attributing fault to someone, or getting someone to take responsibility for creating a mess. However, that is not how I view responsibility. To me, being responsible means being dependable, keeping promises and honouring commitments. It also means that we should accept the consequences our actions may bring about. 

Secondly, why should we be responsible? When we are responsible and remain committed to what we do, people will naturally and likely trust and believe us more. When more people acknowledge us as a trustworthy and reliable person, we will feel even more confident about ourselves.

Thirdly, we can ‘model the way’ by being responsible people. When we live up to the words we say, people around us will understand and know that we are good role models. They will then be more likely to listen to what we have to say. 

What can we do to become more responsible people? I am going to share with you two things we should stop doing and one thing we can start doing. 

We should stop blaming others. When we only blame others for a particular situation, it will prevent us from taking action to improve the situation. 

Secondly, we should stop being negative. Reframe the situation in a positive manner. Focus on the future. This will help to lift everyone’s morale.

We should also start to live in the present moment. Leave the past behind us. As the saying goes, ‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift’. Indeed, take responsibility for this moment which is presented to us on each brand new day and make the best of it to redeem the past and create the future we want. 

In conclusion, we can move into the driver’s seat of our lives by taking 100% responsibility for our actions. In doing so, we are also acting as positive role models to others, and hence taking a step closer to creating a better future. Thank you for listening to my speech and have a terrific Thursday!