Responsibility – is it something we Pick and Choose or is it Naturally Ours?

Lately I have heard that responsibility is referred to as the ability to respond. I like that as it rings true in how we naturally respond to life, which can be very well observed with children.

Young children have a natural curiosity about and for life. They observe and put into practice what they have observed without questioning whether they like to do it or not. They also do not categorise into having something done well or as being wrong; they just do it again and again, bringing their all into the experience.

As adults we have unlearned this way of being and have been taught to calculate and reason. We have been taught that we have a choice to like something or not, to categorise into good and bad, important or not important and thus have also learned to prioritise.

Because we have made life more about reacting instead of responding, we do not see this ability in our children anymore and want them to act in the same way as we do and with that, interfere with their natural inclination of responsibility.

Children love to help and learn everything we do from when they are very little onwards. Instead of letting them help, we give them dolls or cars to play with and, for example, miniature kitchens to reenact what they have observed as we mostly do not have the patience and ‘time’ to work with them in whatever we are doing.

We also have the habit of saying, “They are young, let them be children,” meaning that they do not need to help and can go and play or do whatever they like. All the while we are denying them their natural understanding of responsibility they have and thus teaching them that there is no need to respond to what they feel is true, but can choose and pick according to their own liking. Very quickly we have little adults in our house that can perfectly do things they like to do but use the ’I-am-a-child’ card with things they do not like to do.

Responsibility is not a heavy burden. It is actually something innately ours as we are all connected with each other and connected with the universe and thus can feel what is needed for us all in any particular situation, just by this simple fact of connection. Because we have made life about our own desires and individuality, we have seemingly lost this way of responding to what is at hand and thus see responsibility as something we have to take on instead of feeling it as a natural way of being.

By Esther Andras, Flight Attendant, Delmenhorst, Germany

Related Reading:
The Freedom – Responsibility Connection
Responsibility Redefined – it’s in the Quality and not the Action!

Spara

Spara

Spara

Spara

Spara

335 thoughts on “Responsibility – is it something we Pick and Choose or is it Naturally Ours?

  1. “Lately I have heard that responsibility is referred to as the ability to respond” When understood in this way, it takes the sting out of what we have come to know ‘responsibility’ to mean. Rather than it being a demand, that you have to do things because ‘that’s how they should be done’, it gives the space to understand and be aware that certain things need to be done in order to support everyone and not because they will make us or other people feel important and that we have done well. In other words people pleasing. So giving children the space to be responsible allows them to grow into themselves in a way that is expansive and self assuring, unlike if we stop them from doing things that we can percieve being not suitable for them as they are too young and not able to understand what is being asked of them.

  2. If we react to things in life we perpetuate the ill energy at play, if we respond we have the opportunity to heal our undealt with issues.

    1. ..and the difference between reacting and responding is always felt in our bodies. Reacting is exhausting and draining, responding is not, and enables us to see the bigger picture and move forward from there.

  3. My daughter wrote to me yesterday about how my little granddaughter Bronte who is one year old, got up after dinner and took her plate and cutlery and stacked it in the dishwasher, without anyone having ever told her to do it. Children are naturally responsible and it is beautiful to see.

  4. Yes we often assume we are responding when we are actually just reacting…this dishonesty allows us to continue to be irresponsible.

  5. ‘…as we mostly do not have the patience and ‘time’ to work with them in whatever we are doing.’ Children love to have purpose, to help and be a part of the family. Giving them the time to understand, learn from what we are doing and be a part of it supports them in feeling their part in the whole (responsibility) – and therefore that they are not less because they are children – but equal.

    1. Yes Kylie. It takes our patience and insight that children are equal and take time to support with the things they would naturally like to participate in. Not being rushed, not making it about the task, but about the evolution offered. This is ground breaking stuff for parenting!

  6. I like the way you have presented responsibility as our natural ability to respond. This word unlike the way we tend use ‘responsibility’, feels very fluid and empowering. This is a great foundation for children, to be adaptable and empowered in everyday life.

  7. Energetic responsibility is more a way of being than a way of doing. Having believed it to be a way of doing it takes a while to fully embrace the quality that allows for true responsibility as a way of being and to be consistent in this. It means undoing everything that has been, and still is, between our essence and our habitual behaviours.

  8. A beautiful understanding and knowing of true responsibility and the joy of this as a way of living is very special missing so much in the world today and is a great reflection for us all.

  9. So cool, so good Esther that you share this with us.
    So what stood out very very much was this:
    “Because we have made life more about reacting instead of responding, we do not see this ability in our children anymore and want them to act in the same way as we do and with that, interfere with their natural inclination of responsibility.”
    In a nutshell this is explaining our current society and situation – and at the same time gives us the answer to heal it. Awesome!

  10. So we have to unlearn not being responsible, it is not about learning to be responsible, because it is our natural state. We can all feel that this our natural state, because when we live responsibility and also increase our responsibility it feels light and actually quite normal.

  11. It’s true how we can be actually undermining children by not fostering their natural sense of responsibility, not to say we put burdens on them but supporting them to be practical and understand commitment to life and all its details, which is something that they and we can enjoy getting stuck into so to speak…

  12. When reflecting on life it seems we have turned it in to a rhythm that makes most of it a heavy burden or some form of task. But we could also be tuning into our natural inclination of rhythm and enjoy the every moment we make regardless of the task or job at hand.

  13. ‘ Because we have made life about our own desires and individuality, we have seemingly lost this way of responding to what is at hand and thus see responsibility as something we have to take on instead of feeling it as a natural way of being.’ Well said Esther. Responsibility is a natural way of being that our body responds positively to.

  14. “Young children have a natural curiosity about and for life. They observe and put into practice what they have observed without questioning whether they like to do it or not. They also do not categorise into having something done well or as being wrong; they just do it again and again, bringing their all into the experience.”
    I remember as very little I loved to help my mother, when I grew older it changed into a burden almost sometimes. I asked myself why. My feeling is as a little girl it did not matter what task, in a playful way, the older I grew the more an expectation came in to be good and perfect from myself as well as from the adults. I lost my playfulness and tried to function and meet the expectations of others.
    So one part of true responsibility is for me to stay light with things and tasks.

  15. Meeting children as equals is the greatest gift you can offer them, as they get an opportunity to share more of the amazing wisdom they hold and an opportunity for us to connect to the simplicity and surrendering of their beingness.

  16. This is a very beautiful piece of writing about the true depths of responsibility and how this can be fostered and nurtured.

  17. Interesting to feel that by giving children toys we are removing them from the natural activity of life and encouraging them to be less responsible which we then blame them for when they become teenagers and are so often labelled as irresponsible. We reap what we sow…

    1. Yes Helen, your comment has made me realise kids actually want to take part in life and get stuck in with the same things the adults are up to. They don’t need toys. They want to engage with doing the dishes, the cooking, hanging out the washing etc. If we allowed them to take part, it would be absolutely natural for them to be doing those things as they got older.

  18. Geat point about children being more capable that we give them credit for, but instead foster an abdication of responsibility. I know from my own experience and talking to so many friends that this is exactly what we try to undo all through the teenage years! All of a sudden we want the complete opposite but we forgot to teach them that as they were growing up. eeek

  19. We can’t get out of responsibility – we are always in it, because we are responsible for everything that happens in our life whether we like it or not.

  20. I agree Esther – there is great joy to be found in being responsible and as we re-learn that it is part of our essence to connect and be part of the all with purpose and commitment, we will begin to feel equal and with that a sense of equality and unity with all others as we work in harmony.

  21. If we do not have the ability to respond then we need to look at what is stopping us. The first big step is already taken just by being aware of the situation and then the next big step is our willingness to be aware and change.

  22. In all my work with groups and clients I have not come across anyone who does not want to be truly responsible. There may be fears and worries that get in the way but at our core we all want to be connected and play our part.

  23. Responding to the call is simple and challenging the same way as it does bring up our corners where we have withdrawn and chosen comfort before responding to the call

  24. Responsibility is naturally ours but we anyway pick and choose as we see fit. Not that we actually could avoid responsibility, but we buy time of irresponsibility in the illusion we can do whatever we like as long as we ignore the consequences. It is a matter of awareness and how aware we like to be.

  25. I would say responsibility is always a choice, and it’s always our choice how and in what way we impact the world around us, but – by virtue of being a human being we naturally have a responsibility, whether we choose to live from it or not.

  26. In my recent experience in asking people to be responsible for what they bring into a space at any given time gives them great purpose.

  27. Esther, I agree with you, responsibility is not a heavy burden if we make choices from our natural way of being; it is our right and our responsibility. However the choice, to be responsible or not, is always ours.

  28. We naturally thrive when we are taking responsibility for ourselves. It brings a great sense of order to our lives and deepens what we feel we are here to do.

  29. Responsibility is closely related to integrity, when I do one I feel the other supporting me back to take even more responsibility in my life, and it’s a great feeling.

  30. Responding to life feels like the most natural thing in the world. Shall we dance? Why would we react unless something has gone badly wrong – in which case even more reason to simply observe.

  31. Brilliant Esther, you take responsibility right off the ‘to do’ list and place it back where it belongs – our heart. From connecting to our body and what we feel, everything flows naturally like the sea or sky. Thinking of it any other way is like compartmentalising a wave or a cloud and giving it instructions about how it should behave.

  32. Responsibility being a natural part of being alive and living our life feels true and valid. Everything else is a mere tantrum in the bigger scheme of things.

  33. We can’t get away from responsibility – we can only put off the inevitable consequences of irresponsibility.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s