Vraja Bihari Das

‘It’s easier to dodge our responsibilities but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.’

—Josiah Charles Stamp, English economist

Responsibility has more to it than doing an assigned job nicely. In its true sense, it refers to our ability to choose our responses to challenging and provocative situations.

Response-ability—the ability to make a choice and respond based on correct values. Many grow in life following the general populace—everyone does it. Spiritual life implores us to pause and ask the question, ‘Do I take the responsibility for this?’ In other words, we ask ourselves if we are willing to pay the price for our present actions and recognize the fact that events that occur in our lives today are a result of our own past choices.

Giving up the blame game

Taking this major step of accepting responsibility empowers us to perform our work in a positive frame of consciousness. You wouldn’t moan or live a life of constant regret. Instead, you’d choose to be an instrument of change.

Those shirking responsibility for their personal lives often play the blame game. They always attribute their shortcomings or failures to other causes. Hence, they limit their chances of personal growth. A person of character accepts his mistakes and seeks to learn from them. Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ 

Instead of complaining about the bad state that the world and its humans are in, a spiritual leader works to be part of the solution by first choosing to be responsible for his thoughts and actions. Albert Einstein implored us to rise to these challenges: ‘Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment and learn again to exercise his will—his personal responsibility.’

To be continued…

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