Friday, October 17, 2008


1. What is your principle on RESPONSIBILITY. And how does that play out in your life? (principle defined as: set of beliefs that guide your actions).

I know Rick provided a definition of the word responsibility, but still don't really know what it means. To me, the use of this word is an example of how society overuses and misuses a word until many people are just left confused. (Take for example how many times I said "word" in the last two sentences...overused, right? Who wants to listen to a guy who can't be creative enough to use the full breadth of the English language even though he grew up in an English speaking country!) Apparently, I digress...

Here's what "" has to say about "responsible":

1. Liable to be required to give account, as of one's actions or of the discharge of a duty or trust.
2. Involving personal accountability or ability to act without guidance or superior authority: a responsible position within the firm.
3. Being a source or cause.
4. Able to make moral or rational decisions on one's own and therefore answerable for one's behavior.
5. Able to be trusted or depended upon; reliable.
6. Based on or characterized by good judgment or sound thinking: responsible journalism.
7. Having the means to pay debts or fulfill obligations.
8. Required to render account; answerable: The cabinet is responsible to the parliament.

Really? We use this word to describe morality, reliability, skewed opinions on "good judgement", following through on legal's all just too much.

My track coach in high school was the first person to tell me that the world is based on people's perceptions. So who's perception of responsibility is the one we go with? My interpretation of Rick's response is that sometimes you can only go with the experiences that directly shaped your own life and the perceptions you have based on the beliefs and actions of those around you.

Growing up, I understood responsibility to be something you were told you had to do. My parents told me I was responsible for studying hard and doing my best. They told me I was responsible for keeping my room clean, being respectful of others, speaking up when something was wrong, doing "the right thing." I felt obligated to do these things. After all, they were my parents and they new best.

Somewhere along the way, I started believing in those things I was responsible for. I embraced them. I'm not really sure how it happened, it just did. And in turn, over time, it translated into a few basic tenets that guide my life.... treat people with respect, try to look at the world through the eyes of the people you interact with, enjoy your life and family and friends, work hard at something you find passion in... these are all responsibilities I assign myself. Sooner or later, you become your own person and find the strength from within to hold yourself accountable via self discipline, alignment to a group/religious affiliation to help guide you or develop a moral compass through your interactions with people you respect and admire.

2. Where does the principle of responsibility come from? Does it come from religious beliefs? As an offshoot from philosophical principles like “the golden rule? Does it rise out of fear? Is it a requirement of being human?

Nature...then nurture...then nature again. It's within you, then it's shaped and guided by the philosophies of those people most influential in your life, then it's back to your instincts and feelings as an adult. I'll be honest, my principle of responsibility came not only from my parents, religious beliefs and the golden also came from what I saw on television, music I've heard on the radio and dreams I have when sleeping. Every human being feels responsible to at least one thing.

3. What is something you learned from being irresponsible

That throwing your pet bird into the air doesn't mean the bird knows to come back...

4. What is an example in the world today in which you, or someone greater than you needs to take more responsibility?

Anyone not doing their job. You're a your job. Don't tell me how you're going to fix the was your job to make sure we had a good budget in the first place. How can I trust you will do a good job in the White House when you didn't do exactly the things you're complaining about as a member of the group capable of doing those very things.

If it's your job to deliver a good...and that good is not delivered, take accountability. Do your job. Don't blame someone else. Rick said it best, say what you're going to do and then do what you said. Don't do it half baked, don't pretend like you did it in the hopes no one will notice...just DO YOUR JOB. (And don't think for a second I'm excluding myself from this rant!) ;-)

5. Is everyone in the world “responsible” for everyone else in the world? Is a country responsible for something greater than their country?

Honestly (and quite sadly), I don't think Darfur is anything more to the people of the American government than just another staging ground for a debate. I know behind our government are real people with real feelings, but those feelings are not what drives the behavior ofthe United States government. And for that matter, I feel that way about many/most governments around the world.

For every reason explained to us about the presence in the Middle East, we know there are countless others not explained to us. Ultimately, I just don't want to be lied to. If you're going somewhere to establish a presence for another reason, then just say that. "Hey, there's a group of people out there that are important to us for financial, political and military reasons. We're going to hang around their neighbors to make sure the best interest of OUR country is preserved." That, to me, is being honest. If you want to help the rest of the world, you should feel a responsibility to take care of yourself and your people, protect your countries interests abroad where it's threatened, and be neighborly by giving what you can when asked.

Yes, everyone in the world is responsible to everyone else in the world. We are responsible for taking care of our own people, and being good neighbors where possible. Beyond that, if you are going to get involved in other people's business, you better be pretty darn sure that there is a general consensus from the rest of the world that you are doing the right thing.

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