When we think of responsibility, we tend to think of being reliable and doing our jobs well. Whatever it is that we do from day to day, the perception of doing it well is seen as responsibility. Also the concept of showing up when needed, being there for others and taking good care of what we've been given in life. But is that it? Or is there more to being responsible?
This is a topic I've thought about for years. The average person considers responsibility to be a consideration only within their personal realm or space. But what about reaching beyond your comfort zone? Here are some other ways I've found responsibility to be key and essential in life.
Being a good example when no one is watching. When you see someone drop a wallet on the street, would you pick it up and bring it to them? That is an important aspect of social responsibility. If we want this world to resonate on a higher level of consciousness, we are responsible to be good even when nobody notices. Doing this passes kindness along and increases a personal level of social responsibility among ourselves and others.
Doing the right thing without expecting a reward. Something as simple as picking garbage up off the street makes you a more responsible person. Instead of walking past wrappers and other things tossed out of car windows and thrown over shoulders, you can choose to take it upon yourself to clean up and brighten the world around you. Even if it's never acknowledged, you know you did the right thing. This will increase your personal consciousness and self esteem which always ends up rubbing off on others you know. Even if you don't purposely try to make them aware of your beliefs. And when others see how responsible you are, it will motivate them to be more responsible! (At least some of them!)
Being fair and extending a helping hand. We all have moments and situations come up where we have the opportunity to help another person out who may have the possibility of hurting us. Sometimes being a responsible person is offering a hand up with no assurance of it turning out well. At times, it's good to give another person the benefit of the doubt. And if it ends up biting you in the end? Well, at least you tried. I'm not saying to be a doormat and allow people to walk all over you. What I am suggesting is when you are able, knowing that if the situation would fall flat, you are still willing to take a chance, take it! Sometimes these are the best moments in life: moments that can not only change you but the people you're walking out on a limb for as well. Actions like this not only increase your personal responsibility level and your self esteem but also the personal responsibility levels and self esteem levels of those who you've given the chance to. When out of nowhere if you decide to trust someone and it goes well, it's a very beautiful thing!
Doing your part to remedy societal issues. Society has a sad way of "passing the buck" too many times. "Oh, they'll take care of that," or "I don't know much about that. Let someone else deal with it," or "I just don't have the energy. It's a losing battle anyway," are all excuses created to keep us from feeling responsible. But the reality is, we can all do something with the resources we have, even if it's something small. It really doesn't take much to donate a coat to a shelter or to provide a bag of groceries to someone who's hurting. Maybe even secretly leave Christmas gifts on a needy familys' doorstep or fill a bag with a few essentials from a dollar store to donate to a charity. There are ways of filling in the gap with the resources we've been given. If we'd all do our part, we could create huge waves of responsibility to ripple through our communities.
Take care of our planet. Our children inherit this planet from us. What we do to it, they'll have to deal with. Why give them more pain and heartache? Take an interest in healing this world on a physical level. Learn more about solar and wind energy, begin to grow gardens in our yards or stop using pesticides on our lawns. There are numerous efficient chemical free ways of dealing with issues like this. Why spray more harmful things into the atmosphere for our children and grandchildren to breathe? Why kill off more animals and plants and eat GMO foods that are riddled with hurtful carcinogens? There is no good point to these types of things. And engaging in harmful behaviors only makes things worse and worse. It's time to start paying attention and go back to healing this planet before the domino effect of pain becomes too great for us to conquer!
Rise above destructive thought processes. If we all close our eyes to the hurtful things going on, who is going to make it better? We need to increase our awareness....our level of responsibility...and understand that we each have a piece in this puzzle. If we pass all of the responsibility on to our neighbor, our friend, our senator, our president, how can we expect anything to really change? Yes, our elected officials can make changes but nothing compared to a global realization that we can all make a difference. Even the poorest of us! We can grow gardens, we can stop using pesticides, we can share with our friends and plant trees and spread kindness. There are literally thousands of things we can all do. No matter what our socioeconomic level or level of education. We need to pull together to make amends!
Responsibility is a way of life. It's a process of thinking that we need to commit to. Responsibility doesn't just happen. It's cultivated. And if we begin to cultivate it into the younger generations, just imagine the changes it could bring!