What Marie Antoinette teaches us about taking responsibility

Saturday night, I went to see the ballet based on the life of Marie Antoinette. I’m not much of a ballet person, but the creative choreography that told the story without words impressed me, especially when it came to not so glamorous, such as riots and beheadings.

However, as I was reading the pamphlet, I noticed a sentence about how the reason that Marie Antoinette’s story is still around today is because of the humanity of it. She made mistakes, but at the same time how much you can expect from somebody who got pulled out of her family in Austria to marry a stranger in France at the age of 14. Also, she had a choice to run away but instead chose to face the guillotine with her husband.

To our minds, making mistakes seem irrecoverable. As JFK famously said: “An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” It takes heart to swallow pride and admit wrongdoing but doesn’t that make our relationships a lot simpler? Because rather than rehashing the blame, we can move on to the next chapter.

Marie Antonet’s story reminds us to take responsibility sooner rather than later. That’s why it’s just as gripping today as it was in the times of the French Revolution.

How good are you at taking responsibility? Is there an area where you can do better?


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