What is responsibility?

 Who, me? (@whome) 7 years, 11 months ago

My first post. I have just recently realized that I need to know myself better, instead of just thinking “I need to be better”. Anyways, one of my – if not the – key issues is that I never take responsibility. I can never make decisions because I fear that whatever I decide, I might end up letting someone down. But when I don’t make a decision, or just ‘flip a coin’ on the thing, I roll the responsibility on to others and usually end up letting people down even more heavily. And when they say: “You let me down here”, I say: “I see that now. I do realize this is my responsibility.” But what I in fact mean is that I blame myself and am ashamed. I know, or at least I’ve heard, that responsibility is not the same thing as blame/guilt. But it is really difficult to make the distinction! Thoughts?

My conclusions so far: It is impossible to not let someone down every now and then. Being responsible means honestly observing the alternatives, and choosing who you are willing to let down on this matter. Observing the alternatives, realizing and accepting the possible consequences, and choosing to live with those consequences.

November 30, 2013 at 12:46 am
i4c1m2b (70) (@i4CiM2B) 7 years, 11 months ago ago

@whome, Can you clarify with an actual example? I get the feeling that there’s more to this than just the issue of reponsebility. Are the expectations of others involved? Do you feel pressure to make some decisions? Why do you feel guilty or ashamed? What Initiates the feeling ? These are all factors that need to be considered.

Blankh (21) (@nicnac) 7 years, 11 months ago ago

I feel like responsibility is just an awareness we created that is crucial to our existence. In terms of a baby for example. If no one believes they are responsible for him/her, the baby will eventually die. Its the responsibility, the feeling of duty and necessity, that keeps the baby alive. It all kind of comes down to survival. Being responsible for someone’s suffering simply means you were believed to be the cause of it. Responsible=Cause of? Responsibility= Accountable for? Ooo I’m getting confused again. Time to relax. Good luck.

Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 7 years, 11 months ago ago

@whome, We have a dualistic nature, a selfish side and a selfless side, we have the impulses of fear and desire in which we can work on discipline or be lazy and allow them to influence our decisions.

All information and every situation calls for us to assess it, with fear and desire running rampant in us it becomes very difficult to be reasonably objective in our evaluations. But when we do have a measure of discipline, what makes sense usually presents itself, and then it comes down to if we want to work hard toward that sense or cop out and go the easy way.

When you do your best to work on what makes sense to you, it can be called being responsible, a duty of care, knowing where you are liable. But when you do your best at that, even if you fail, you cannot possibly feel guilty, if anything you will build respect for yourself for standing up for what you believed was the right thing.

Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 7 years, 11 months ago ago

@whome, But these impulses, fear and desire, aren’t bad, they are useful in many circumstances, it is just when a person allows them to confuse that common sense and it results in hurting someone or damaging something that problems come from.

Intent is a huge factor in guilt, the funny thing is that only people of conscience feel it(guilt), so automatically you are a good person by that fact, bad people deliberately hurt others and feel nothing.

Also, selfish is not bad either, in fact it is by way of selfishness that we become selfless, it is a use of logic, you can create a better situation for yourself if the world has no reason to hate you, and it also results in not hating yourself.

lifegamer (28) (@lifegamer) 7 years, 11 months ago ago

Response-ability. Good topic!
It’s about creating a situation that brings about responses…hopefully, those of your intent.

If you accept a position that allows you to use such ability, you are very much liable for the consequences…i.e. You accept a request to pick up a friend from work at 6 pm, but you show up at 6:45. If you had followed thru with the original intent of doing something nice for a bud, the ‘response’ would have been just that…’nice’. However, in not doing so…well, you can imagine…not so nice, right? You feel bad, they are pissed…stifles your opportunity to Be in that position again, which in turn, stifles your opportunity to grow.

This is character-building stuff…Defines of Who & What YOU are Being. If you do not like the define, change the being. This option is available in every single moment. Be wise, Babes…It’s a priceless thang! :)

Who, me? (1) (@whome) 7 years, 11 months ago ago

Thank you all for your perspectives, they all help me along as I’m trying to learn to trust myself.

@trek79, I think you pretty much nailed it, and very pragmatically. Although I’m not so sure on what you said about intent. One does not necessarily need selfish intents to cause trouble to others, merely closing ones eyes can be enough.

@i4cim2b, I get the feeling your insight is spooky accurate. Why do I feel guilty? Well, naturally, I feel guilty when I realize I’ve caused trouble to someone I love… But in fact, for a very long time, I’ve pretty much felt guilty for just being alive, exhalating carbon dioxide and so on. THIS, I believe, is due to the fact that I’ve had these imaginations about ideals what i SHOULD be like, and a perception about what I am, and both of those are too far from reality. Yes, time to learn to accept what I am… A topic for a bunch of other posts, I suppose.

Expectations of others? Yes. It has come to the point where my friends can not trust me, since I have a history of eating my words.

And for that last reason, it is crucial that I learn to notice and acknowledge the situations where I usually would just automatically avoid concidering consequences and just say something to keep everyone smiling.

Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 7 years, 11 months ago ago

@whome, So you’ve made that mistake over and over, and understood how it always turns out… yet you keep repeating it?

Learn from your mistake and let it propel you into greatness.
Nothing will change unless you CHANGE IT.

What is responsibility?

Responsibility is standing on your own legs, standing up for who you are and what you do.

Responsibility is delivering what you promise, and not promising what you can’t deliver.

Responsibility is accepting the consequences of your choices, without whining or blaming or making excuses.

Responsibility is BEING the change you want for this world, earning what you want, not expecting or demanding it for free from others.

Responsibility is always pulling your weight, not living like a parasite.

Responsibility is taking things into your own hands.

Responsibility is honesty.

Responsibility is FREEDOM.

It’s a simple matter.

Peace and love

Seremonia (22) (@Seremonia) 7 years, 11 months ago ago

Generally and practically, it’s when we can make better adjustment, then the more we can do it, the more we can be closer to a proper act of responsibility.

But in details: When we know our rights and their rights or any kind of rights we might know that has relevancy to ourselves, and we know its priority order to be fulfilled and we can do to provide it, then it’s the moment where we are facing with responsibility.

I have responsibility means = I know my rights, i know your rights and the time for it to be accomplished.

I have responsibility, but i ignore it, means = I know my rights, i know your rights, i know their rights that has relevancy to ourselves, and i know when i should do to fulfill it, and lastly i have power to fulfill it, but somehow i ignore it.

– In a short: What is responsibility? It’s our ability to know the rights that has relevancy to ourselves and its priority order .

– And when do we have to finish our responsibilities? It’s when the priority order of the rights that has relevancy to ourselves has come and it needs to be fulfilled and we have power to accomplish it (whether directly or not), then it’s time for us to fulfill related responsibility.

– How do we know that specific rights has relevancy to ourselves? It could be judged through any other means, but through another way, simply by knowing it through ethics or morality that specifically for ourselves.

Who, me? (1) (@whome) 7 years, 11 months ago ago

@manimal, yes, repeating is exactly what I have been doing. You underline one half of the vicious circle I have created in my mind. Blaming myself, and getting even more scared about taking responsibility. Everything you say about responsibility, I “know”, i.e. “I’ve been told”. But I believe what it comes down to is that I can not understand my responsibilities as long as I believe myself to be inferior to others, an outsider, meaningless. So I see that I absolutely have to face myself honestly, accept myself, let go of imaginary ideals. And, in all simplicity, turn the vicious circle into a positive circle. By accepting myself I can accept my responsibilities, and by taking responsibility I can accept what I do.

Who, me? (1) (@whome) 7 years, 11 months ago ago

@seremonia, beautiful response. Thank you.

Overall, a lot of thoughts about responsibility. I was hoping for some thoughts also on guilt. But I guess that is a less important matter. We feel guilt when we don’t fulfill our responsibilities. It is a biological reaction that can guide us to the right direction, but it has little practical use, and if we let guilt control us it is ultimately harmful. As with all things, guilt must be accepted with an open heart but not allowed to take control.

And yes. I know these are simple things. But they are not that obvious for me. I have a long way to go.

PotshotGeneral (3) (@PotshotGeneral) 7 years, 11 months ago ago


We all have bud.

Yael Alonso (59) (@YaelAlonso) 7 years, 11 months ago ago

@seremonia, This is actually a perfect response to a great question.

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