What does it really mean to be RESPONSIBLE?
Freedom Focused suggests it means two basic things. First, you have both the freedom and the power to choose your own response to any given situation, regardless how you might feel. This means you do not have to be a victim of circumstance; you can choose to rise above it. Second, it means you are accountable to others for the choices you make. This responsibility extends to at least ten different persons, groups, or entities:
- Significant other
- All others possibly affected by your choices
- Families, organizations, communities, states, and nations in which you reside
- The world at large
- Planet Earth
In other words, it's not only about you. Yet paradoxically, it begins with YOU. Beyond you, however, we are all responsible to ALL these people, groups and entities—and in this order. The order is important because you can only help others if you are in good working condition yourself, and families and organizations can only help communities, states, nations, the world, and Planet Earth if they themselves are practicing integrity and synergistically working together on realistic long-term solutions. Unfortunately, many people get this essential order mixed up. As a result, they end up sacrificing their talents, education, relationships, and sometimes even their personal health and hygiene on things that, in the end, are relatively meaningless in terms of authentic external contributions.
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe(1749 - 1832)
Taking personal responsibility is often uncomfortable and inconvenient. We are not always naturally inclined to work hard, exercise self-discipline and self-denial, or sacrifice for the well being of others. Our base natures simply do not seek after anything that might be challenging, painful, or selfless.
Know it or not, and like it or not, as members of one mighty interrelated human family, we are deeply connected to each other in ways that transcend the understanding of even the wisest among us. As such, we carry certain responsibilities toward each other. When these duties are neglected, devastating consequences occur. Selfishness, while always an option, is also always wrong.
True Principles are sovereign. Consequences wreak havoc whenever and wherever human beings defy them. On the other hand, consequences also pave the way to lasting happiness, prosperity, and even greatness for those who abide by them. The natural obstinacy of mankind leads to repeated attempts to flout these laws—much to our collective detriment. One of the most fundamentally True Principles of life is that we all have an Existential Duty to act responsibly for the long-term benefit of ourselves, as well as everyone and everything else that may be impacted or influenced by our choices.
This book is written for individuals who yearn to escape the menacing gravitational pulls of Existential Gravity by owning up to their Existential Duties. You are obviously one of these people, or you would not be reading this book right now. I congratulate you for your desire to be responsible. Now it is time to put your desire into ACTION.
Will you choose to be RESPONSIBLE for your own sake, the sake of your fellow members of the human race, and the wellbeing of the planet we all call home? If so, then read on…
Next Blog Post: Friday, November 21, 2014 -- Chapter 6: The Age of Authenticism (The End of Postmodernism)