We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Funny how we humans want to take personal credit for things we feel good about, and how quick we are to come up with excuses and rationalizations for the rest.
The author included this handy-dandy elementary life skills chart, for those who never learned it. Readers might be amazed by how many adults never mastered Life 101. Sadly, the "awareness" part is often the biggest challenge:
Howdy, Dr. Joy
I am fond of praise and credit also, but I do look around me and think that I've been fortunate or blessed. I rarely have to resist the temptation to overeat because my appetite is modest to start with. I've got all (nearly all) my hair left because of my physiology rather than any personal merit. I'm intelligent and I have a tremendous memory; both seem to be gifts rather than achievements.
We all prefer praise and want to be worthy of it. I hate blame as much as anyone and my first reaction is always to try to displace it. But then that demon responsibility kicks in, as you advocate, and I have to try to find a solution. Perhaps even a sense of responsibility is something of a gift, though.