why do we say we ‘feel responsible’ for something? i wonder if i’m confused about the word and meaning of it.
feeling responsible implies that being responsible is an emotion.
is the deep sensation of responsibility in some people the balance for those that don’t feel responsible or choose to not feel it?
the parent that had an oops baby but chooses to raise it with love vs the parent that continues to have the child but chooses to ignore their child. sometimes that child growing up develops an early sense of responsibility and feels a need to take care of a parent that might be caught up in drugs, alcohol, or another type of self-destructive behavior. we say the child ‘grows up fast’. that parent while legally able to care for themself by age isn’t truly an adult with adult responsibilities..
therein lies a question. we make an arbitrary designation that at some point one is being responsible and held to a social standard of being responsible. “someone has to be an adult here” being one social method used to place others into a place of control and conformity.
with most things though, responsibility is a lifelong spectrum.
we learn to be responsible for ourselves first. if i’m hungry. i’m responsible for telling someone, probably by screaming or crying initally. the co-responsible party may check for a dirty diaper first before realizing that isn’t the issue and feed my belly.
We socially and hygenically learned to be responsible for not peeing on ourselves in the middle of the night. the savings in doing laundry alone would be a good reason.
we grow and sometimes feel the responsibility of being a productive member of society and go to school and wonder about jobs and higher education for other jobs.
in those jobs we might feel responsible for ‘doing a good job’ whatever that might mean and entail. it’s still a subjective notion.
we somehow excel in what we do and we in turn become a leader for others. we now have more ‘responsibility’ not only or our own work but now possibly for those under us. i’m not talking about being responsible for their work. that comes with the job of being leader. this is the sense of responsibility for the wellfare for someone else. their lives might be influenced by something i say. truly i’m not responsible for them in that they can choose to work hard and not let personal issues affect their work.
but most people are not emotionless or automatons. we connect with others and worry and care. the level of responsibility is one that borders on if not crossing into the territory of love.
“love one another as I love you”
“all we need is love”
“love makes the world go round”
“love is a battlefield”
ok. maybe the last one is a stretch but caring for another can war against internal desires: the responsibility of the self for the responsiblity of another.
whether by ‘force’ or desire the choice to be responsbile must be a solo decision. no one can make another do something they truly don’t want to. age doesn’t matter. life situations don’t matter.