Welcome to the wonderful world of responsibility. The place we longed for when we were younger to affirm our maturation. The place where we take ownership of the things we oversee. Money, houses, cars, wives, kids, dogs; we've all got something. The key is learning what takes priority, what takes the backburner, and what do we have to let go of? Responsibility doesn't care what your title is, it only cares that it gets done and its needs are met. Is a farmer still a farmer if he doesn't tend to the farm? Just because nature takes its course with the animals and trees on his land doesn't make him the one responsible for the harvest. Is a mother still a mother if she doesn't nurture? Is a father still a father if he doesn't protect? Wearing the title is the easy part, it's what you do with it that matters. It's a sad thing to blame someone OR take credit for something that you didn't do your part in. Even worse is a person who doesn't take responsibility for what they are to oversee, yet throws the "authority" of their title around in demand of respect. No Mr. Farmer, while I'm grateful for the land that you reside on, you did nothing to produce this harvest. Yes Mr. Dad and Ms. Mom, I celebrate the natural flow of conceiving a child however, how are you cultivating the seed now that it's here?
Responsibility is weighty. Take a second to think of EVERYTHING you are given to oversee, govern, or give care to in your life...... Now think about the effort it takes to ensure it is PROPERLY taken care of...... Don't worry I'll wait....
As you can probably tell by my book and other blogs, I've grown fond of using definitions.... (I honestly don't know where it came from, but hey I like it, so bear with me lol)
Responsibility: a particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsible
Responsible: having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable; capable of rational thought or action;
answerable or accountable, as for something within one's power, control, or management
I remember growing up being the "responsible friend" or the trusted friend. The one whose friends parents really didn't mind them hanging around cause 'she's an overall good kid.' Good parents (I say they're great!),
good grades, involved in outside activities, sweet, respectful.... you know all those awesome things! LOL
Even in dating, guys parents, especially their mothers, would ALWAYS approve of their sons liking me because I was so responsible.... In some instances I used to think 'if only they knew...'. anyway, I used to take this for granted or think well that's just stuff that I'm supposed to do. It wasn't until I realized the vast majority of my peers weren't doing this, that I understood this was the reason their parents were so impressed. As I got older and saw this responsible nature mature, I wanted to put forth the effort to be what others perceived me as. I made this statement one day and have tried to live by this from that day forward:
I want to live a life such that I don't need a certain authority or title to uphold what I feel is my responsibility. The burden and obligation I feel for things and people in my life, I want to uphold and be accountable to with or without the title. In other words: I don't need a title or label to do what I know is right or in my heart to do.
Understanding your responsibility is a call to action. I know what my responsibility is. Admittedly it is sometimes difficult to carry that responsibility, but I accept it as my obligation and within my control. When we know what our responsibility is, it pushes us to do something about it. Not just so that we won't feel bad about ourselves, but because someone else's life is dependent on it. Upholding responsibility has less to do with the actions I take, and more about the person those actions affect. It might hurt. I may have to sacrifice my preferences. I might struggle from time to time. BUT I will not give up my responsibility in consideration of YOUR well being! DO NOT ALLOW THE FEAR OF FAILURE KEEP YOU FROM YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. We're not perfect. We're going to make mistakes. However, the greater mistake is giving up on fulfilling your responsibility because you MIGHT fail. When you are faced with a tough decision, temptation, or struggle remember the faces of those impacted by the decision you make. This will add some pressure, but it removes the selfishness from your decision making and allows you to take ownership for your responsibility.
So I ask these questions: What areas in your life are you not taking responsibility for? What do you desire to see growth in but you are not putting forth the effort that it takes to properly care for? Perhaps it is not that you are irresponsible. Maybe it is time to double check that priorities checklist again. It's ok to relinquish your title on some things in order to be more responsible or accountable to your more life altering responsibilities. In the words of the great Winston Churchill, "The price of greatness is responsibility". Responsibility sharpens us. Now I understand that gaining responsibility wasn't about becoming more grown up, it was about becoming great! So again I say, Welcome to the wonderful world of responsibility!