TEEN SOUL POWER
The Importance of Responsibility
"The foundation of maturity lies in accepting responsibility for ourselves,
and the happiness of fulfillment lies with us being responsible to others!"
One of the greatest actualizers of a high quality of life, is responsibility. To succeed at life, one must fulfill their roles at all stages of life. That means to be responsible as a child, as a student, as an adult, as a parent, as an employee or as an employer, as a spouse, etc. Each person enters into and progresses through different stages of life, and each stage carries different roles and different responsibilities. For success in life, one must maintain a high and consistent level of responsibility throughout each of those stages of life.
Conversely, one of the greatest destroyers of life is irresponsibility. In fact, it may be the main personal attribute that erodes, corrodes and decays the quality of life we all want and need. Of the tens-of-thousands of people that feel they have not attained the life goals they wanted, the vast majority neglected the one attribute most important to a person in any station of life - responsibility.
In short, responsibility is a necessary aspect of life. It is fulfilling needed tasks, chores, and duties that allows life to continue in an ordered manner. Higher levels of responsibility are much more often correlated with higher levels of quality of life. In healthy families, all family members pitch in and carry a shared weight so that it does not fall upon one person. One can count upon others trusting they will carry through on their responsibilities. This helps the family operate smoothly, with less anxiety, confusion, tension, arguments and fighting, and pain. It also has been found that people who are responsible in daily activities do tend to get ahead more often in life, ex., they receive more promotions or higher raises at work because their supervisor doesn't have to constantly stand over them and monitor their work.
Responsibility is dependability, conscientiousness, reliability and trustworthiness.
The reverse of responsibility is irresponsibility. It is inconsistency, unreliability, unpredictability, and often results in disorder, chaos, confusion and problems and difficulties of all sorts.
Some basic examples of responsibility include getting to school or work on time, taking care of others' needs properly, paying rent or mortgage consistently, paying taxes, and fulfilling your duties and obligations as assigned to you. A responsibility is a task or commitment and can be either basic that we are all expected to do, or tasks assigned to you or between people, businesses or organizations that must be adhered to and completed in order to fulfill your personal, family, work, or ethical obligations or to satisfy the terms of a commitment or contract.
So why aren't people more responsible? Some believe that people act irresponsible just because they are facing hard work. But it isn't just that simple. Many people hesitate to do a job because they think it is too big to handle alone. Many people really don't know how to do a job, and many people hesitate because they just don't know how or where to begin. Others procrastinate. And many just don't like having to answer to others.
But responsible people are self-motivated. They see something that needs to be done, and pitch in to do it without being told. There are several ways to begin to become more responsible: do little things, just for the sake of doing them. Start a project - and try to follow through and finish it, but at least start it. While the law of motion says that inertia wants to keep you from starting, once you do motion-in-motion maintains itself.
Also, follow through. Responsible people don't want to quit a project that's half done. Responsible people are proud of a project well done. They place a high value on helping others. They aren't afraid of hard work. They have self-initiation. They challenge themselves. They'll make a game out of a responsibility. They love to keep busy. They love to exercise their creativity - even in routine chores and errands. They have a thirst for new things, and most importantly they understand their obligations to help support their personal, family and social life.
Responsible people do have a better quality of life overall. Research continually shows that work, motivation, organization and follow-through form better adjusted people and people with higher levels of satisfaction and self-satisfaction, than those who either avoid or perform obligations with little detail, little energy, or leave them unfinished.
There are many types of responsibility as well. First, is responsibility to the family. A necessary aspect of family life is fulfilling needed tasks, chores and responsibilities for the success and betterment of the family. In healthy families, all family members pitch in and carry a shared weight so that it does not fall upon one person. In healthy families, one member can count upon another member - can trust that person, to carry through on the assigned responsibility. Of course, again, everyone forgets or makes a mistake on occasion. But with responsibility as the family norm one shows maturity and autonomy, one can trust that a child will be picked up at the proper time, one can assure that a meal will be ready, that the kitchen will be cleaned, that the lawn will be mowed, and that bills will be paid. As the level of organization increases, the level of efficiency increases, role modeling increases, the level of trust and understanding increases, the level of family maturity increases, and the level of functionality increases as well. Everyone benefits when things that need to get done are done in a timely and responsible way and without undue stress and chaos. When the family “chores” and responsibilities run smoothly, the family is free to operate with less anxiety and pain.
Second, may be to be environmentally responsible, i.e., to assure that one's actions conform to nature and a healthy and clean environment. Here, for example, one does not litter, one acts to reduce their carbon footprint, monitor their home for energy efficiency, etc. Third, to be morally responsible means to act in accordance with the moral principles that are important to your religion, and to live your faith accordingly. Fourth, to be socially responsible means to act in accordance with the principles that support humanity and your government at large, feed the poor, cloth the naked, give shelter to the homeless.
Responsibility means carrying your weight and being accountable. At one time responsibility was a virtue cherished beyond question. Sometimes one hears a teenager say, "I'm 16 - I'm an adult". But no one has achieved adulthood until they have accepted responsibility, no matter how hard it is - and believe it that life is hard and gets harder. One hears "I'm old enough to do what I want", but the truth is that a person is not free to do what they want, until they have accepted responsibility.
It's only responsibility that turns one into an adult, only responsibility that sets one free, only responsibility that will turn the trials and tribulations of those teen years into the dreams and promises of tomorrow.
Everyone makes mistakes. But even when a person makes a mistake, one must admit it and accept the responsibility for your actions. When we do something wrong, admit it and if there is punishment accept the punishment gratefully - without backtalk or angry retribution. The hardest part is taking responsibility if something goes wrong, but even then people respect a person who owns up to making a mistake and works to fix it. George Washington, Father of our Country freely admitted that he chopped down the cherry tree. He wasn't proud of it, but he had honesty, integrity and he accepted responsibility for his actions. These days, however, there seems to be a tendency to want to escape responsibility. But remember, as Washington accepted responsibility he laid the foundation of his personality - his character, for the rest of his life... and he provided this country with an important value that was to be a guiding cornerstone for our evolution.
So when anyone does anything wrong, it is critically important to admit our responsibility; make amends to people we've hurt or replace things damaged; be willing to accept any accompanying punishment; resolve not to re-commit the wrongdoing; and yes, we should ask forgiveness.
A man or woman is responsible for himself and to others: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Everyone has power – how we choose to use it is up to us. Always remember the key to personal power is to be responsible: be responsible for yourself, and be responsible to others! Many of the troubles that we suffer today are because people have refused to accept their responsibility or have reacted to it in a negative and distasteful fashion.
Character is the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life, and is the source from which self-respect springs. Accepting responsibility for your life means understanding that YOU are responsible for creating the life you want to live. If you don't do it, who else will? This is a tremendously empowering realization for so many people. When they realize they are responsible for themselves, they are freed to stop making excuses and stop waiting for others to help them. Instead, they start changing their lives. Again, you can decide what you want your life to be about, even about greatness. Winston Churchill once said, "The price of greatness is responsibility."
The foundation of maturity lies in accepting responsibility for ourselves, and the happiness of fulfillment lies with us being responsible to others. Accept responsibility. We’ve all heard the ancient Hebrew adage “If not me, who, if not now, when?” We must all accept the responsibility given to us. Do not avoid it, do not cast it aside.
Everyone has a moral and ethical imperative to act to save and improve our family and our country, and that call is a call to action - a call for each of us - a call to responsibility.
“Eventually we all have to accept
full and total responsibility for our actions,
everything we have done,
and have not done.”
- Hubert Selby, Jr.