Monday, August 9, 2010


ResponsibilityIntroduction: Responsibility can be very well defined as “the ability to choose one’s response to the event he or she encounters.” Are you happy in life? Are your relations pleasurable and meaningful? Is your work satisfying and gives you a high? Are you healthy in your mind and body? Are you studying the right course that’s taking you towards your desired goal in life? Are you content and satisfied with all the areas of your life? Are you contributing to the society and humanity on this planet?
I know many of the questions would be difficult for you to reply, especially in the affirmative. Well if you are not satisfied about the outcome in your life in even one of the areas mentioned above, then this article is for you.

Understanding Responsibility: Human beings are specially endowed by God with the gift of choosing their responses. Animals have limited response- ability. If you try to hit a dog with a stick, it’s going to do one of the two things, run or make you run (by attacking you). It has limited response giving capacity.
But we as human beings have greater abilities to choose our responses to the events that we encounter in life. That’s why Jesus in Bible says, if someone strikes you on one cheek, turn the other, if someone takes your tunic, give him your coat too and if someone forces you to walk some distance, walk a mile with him.
Gandhi echoed what Jesus says in the Bible, especially the phrase, “turning the cheek”. But many people have misinterpreted and misunderstood what the great people before us have told us. Understanding that you alone are responsible for your actions and the outcome thereof will give you a greater degree of freedom. You won’t feel trapped by the circumstances outside and people to decide your mood or actions. You know that you can now choose your mood or actions to the events and people you encounter in life.

Benefits of Responsibility: As stated above once you are aware of the fact that you can choose your response; it would afford you a greater degree of freedom in all areas of your life. No longer are you dependent whether the climate is sunny or cloudy today, you are not dependent on your wife and boss or colleagues to make your day and you can be happy despite of the fact that they did not treat you well, because you are choosing your response.
You won’t wait for the boss to increase you perks and salary to do good work, which would be depending on the stimulus to boost a positive response. You will do your work sincerely and give your best shot each time because you have chosen your response.
The results will be seen in the long term. Soon people will find you to be the most attractive person; they will want to know how you can be so happy and content. Your boss and your spouse will start noticing you that your responses are different and positive even when they treat you unfairly. The result will be that when it comes for promotion in the company the boss will have your name first on his list. Your spouse will start changing his or her behavior toward you and you will experience a more peaceful and happy family life. You will feel to be in more control of your life than anytime; you will feel genuine freedom for the first time.

How to be Responsible: Now let’s come to the most important point and see what steps we can take toward being more responsible in life.
First becoming aware of the right knowledge is winning half the battle. This article is aimed at that. You are being made aware of the fact that your life is and will be proportional to the responses you give to the events you encounter in life and the good news is that we can choose our responses. Once you are aware of this fact, the next time you encounter anything you will now know that you can always choose, you always do have a choice to make. So when your doctor has advised you to pull down the extra pounds that you carry and the next time you encounter a situation where you are offered a chocolate cake, you know what to do.
Secondly become a proactive person. Don’t wait for events to happen to you for taking actions. Don’t wait till you get debt ridden to save money, don’t wait to spend time with your family till the divorced is filed, don’t wait for the boss to serve you a memo for completing your target clients, don’t wait for the medical reports to sound the danger signal to take time to exercise. In FIFA 2010, I noticed that many good teams played passively without much attacking the opponents. They were awakened to attack only when goals were scored against them but by that time it was too late and they lost.
Thirdly, evaluate yourself for your actions throughout the day. You could do this exercise at the end of the day in the late evening or before you go off to bed. Run the day’s events through your mind and see how you reacted to different events at home, office, school, college etc. Did you choose nobler responses or were your actions motivated by emotions, people and circumstances. If you fail in some areas, become aware of them, forgive yourself and resolve to do better the next time.

Conclusion: I love the poem “Abu Ben Adhem” by Leigh Hunt. Abu Ben Adhem is the head of his tribe. He loves and serves his people faithfully; moreover he loves and serves God. One day an angel visits him in his dream, the angel seems to be writing in a book of gold. Abu musters up his courage to ask what is that he is writing. The angel replies that he is writing the names of those ‘who love the Lord.’ Abu’s name deserves to be there so he asks whether his name is one in the list. To his dismay he is given a negative reply. But watch now how Abu chooses his responses, “Cheerily still” he tells the angel to write his name as ‘one who loves His fellowmen”. Abu though discouraged doesn’t stop responding with love and service and the angel visits him second time and shows him the golden book and the list of all those ‘whom the love of the Lord had blest’, the poem ends in climax, “And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest” God has rewarded him by putting his name as the first person that deserves God’s love and blessing. And all this because Abu Ben Adhem has chosen the right response to the event he encounters. So friends, the next time you encounter anything, know that you have the freedom to choose your response and in your choice lies your happiness, fulfillment and liberty. “Between the stimulus and the response there lies a gap and in that gap lies our greatest freedom, the freedom to choose and on our choice depends our happiness and freedom in life” Victor Frankl.
Joy be all yours.


1 comment:

  1. Dear Sir,
    Great Article have written on RESPONSIBILITY. We could understand easily, how we should respond to the event we encounter in our life. Specially the example given in Conclusion is a good sample of the responsibility chosen by Abu.

    Thanks to send me this great article.