What is responsibility? For many folks, it's a loaded word. Or they think responsibility is boing.
It's not. Being responsible is about living from a place of integrity.
Here's why: Responsibility is the ability to respond.
If you see an injustice in your life, or in the lives of others, and you have the ability to respond--even in the smallest of ways--you are response-able to effect that change in whatever ways you can.
If you choose not to use your ability to respond, you are in breach of your integrity.
That's a lesson I've learned the hard way more than once. I'm deeply familiar with the grief and discomfort of acting outside of integrity. Sometimes, it's from another person calling it out. More often, it's an inner knowing that there is more I'm able to do, and I've neglected the work.
When you get in the habit of neglecting our moral and social responsibilities, spiritual atrophy begins to settle in. We may notice a lack of vitality, a general dullness or numbness. This is because asserting responsibility is a way of affirming connection to community, environment, and source. Disconnecting from responsibility leaves us feeling disconnected from our community, environment, and source.
For those of you in the United States, today is Martin Luther King Jr day.
He was a man of great integrity and incredible capacity for responsibility. I'll leave you with this quote from him:
“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer…. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.
Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”
In whatever way you are able, respond.
Stay in your integrity.