Are you responsible?

In a world full of impressions we often lose sense of responsibility. It is due to the overload caused by daily challenges such as family and job obligations, the disagreement between intrinsic and extrinsic motivated actions and even social media influences and in particular its aftermath of compulsive comparison, we allow ourselves to refuse being part of a self-determined life. Hence, it appears more comfortable to hide under the blankets of a social structure in which we feel save and related. However, what is the amount of personal choices covered underneath those cushions? WELCOME TO CW #10: RESPONSIBILITY!


Initially, in our early ages, we face a situation in which we have to be responsible. In so-called “western-civilizations” this is the case by the time we start attending school. Some might refer to the expression: “This is when real life begins”. There, we are confronted with daily obligations, a first deep commitment. It is the compulsory attendance, the duties within afterschool homework, the first adaptation to social structures, to regulations and self-proclaimed policies that call for a sense of responsibility. But what exactly does this mean?

The terminology “being responsible” traces back to French and Latin origins. In the 1590’s, from obsolete French responsible, it is understood as being “answerable” to either another person or for something in particular. Therefore being responsible implies a reaction to an action. Moreover it is paved on a dynamic groundwork since “being responsible” includes certain expectations, or rules of communication, especially when talking in terms of reliability. Its Latin counterpart derives from the term responsabilis, which is a combination of two words, the stem spondere translated into “to pledge” and the prefix re- known as “back”. Thus, respondere means to “respond”, “to answer” or “to promise in return”. Its Latin derivation retains the sense of “obligation”. Beyond that it is understood as “being accountable for one’s actions” or “being reliable and trustworthy”. Mostly these abilities named above find their purpose within social structures. It is due to the intended purpose which is why we develop a sense of responsibility. Consequently “being responsible” includes cultural value since the area of responsibilities varies within its comprehension of social bondings and the commitment to socialization. Finally, “being responsible” in terms of reliability includes social cohesion since its reference relates to social togetherness and its rules of conduct. “Being responsible” can be seen as a social code referring to personal evaluation, estimation and valuation.

Responsibility can also be understood as the ability to respond, to answer to specific conditions or circumstances on a personal basis. In this case it is not surrounded by social regulations but rather to personal skills such as coping strategies. The ability to manage situations, cope with challenges and overcome difficult conditions shows the spectrum of “being responsible”. It means to reflect upon realities and evaluate its effect. Furthermore it is about responding to circumstances by making choices. 

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Making choices is one of the most valuable parts of responsibility. Being able to respond to situations leads to an ability of observation and consideration. Also, it shows a capability to action. It is due to the fact of taking decisions that a reaction is being forced. Reactions which may be understood as results. These results are seen as essential elements when speaking of personal growth. Making choices will lead to a circle of activity. Once we start taking decisions, we will confront ourselves with results. Consequently we may allow ourselves to study and check the outputs. Does it make you feel happy? Stay within that area of resolution and continue to grow by making further choices. Are you unsatisfied with the decisions you have once made, pause for a second. Get into a phase of reflection and evaluation and try to find a more suitable conclusion. Subsequently carry on. Most of all, we are able to initiate purposeful results by working with intended goals. What is more, we want to focus on the idea of life serving choices. In other words: everything is a choice!

“Being responsible” is all about shaping meaningful conditions. In addition, we want to create personal comfort based on individual needs. Besides, responsibility calls for an activity. Sometimes we are stuck in a situation and we might even go through phases of apathy. Also a lack of motivation can lead to a state of apathy. Motivational backgrounds, distinguished between intrinsic and extrinsic (detailed post on MOTIVATION in CW #5, click here), play a significant role when wanting to establish self-fulfillment and self-realization. Thus, we need to focus on individual needs and aspirations of achieving personal dreams. Above all, intrinsic motivated actions are the ones that encourage sincere personal development.

Keep in mind, refusing to make a choice will lead to no result what so ever. As a last resort, the absence of activity leads to listlessness since we lock ourselves out of the dynamic terrain we should actually live in. Keep listening to yourself and your personal wishes. Follow your desire. If there is something to fight for, something you truly care about, go for it. If it is as little as making a choice on what to eat, and as big as deciding on a place you want to pursue your life. Create a vivid life by taking decisions. Be responsible and make a choice!

Have an amazing upcoming week with lots of pleasing decisions to make!