Responsibility in simple terms, is the ability to respond to life spontaneously. We don’t respond to life spontaneously. We always need a cushion, buffer spring between us and life. As a child you need fairy tales, as a young adult you need fantasies, as a grown up man you need desires. These are acting as buffer springs, shock springs, shock absorbers between you and reality – Life. Meeting, responding, connecting with the life without this shock absorbers is Responsibility.
There are two ways in which you can respond to life – one is responding to life in a deep, welcoming and accepting way, the other is responding to life with resistance, reservations, judgement and attachment. You can hit the reality either in a beautiful smooth way or in a strong way.
Of course strong landing sometimes takes away your very life. If you look deeply you will realize that most often 99% of the time, you respond to life with resistance/judgement/attachment. This happens because almost all that time, you consider the source of whatever that is happening in your life as something external or outside of you. Whether it is a challenging or conflicting or unpleasant situation, you always consider that the source of the situation lies outside of you. This is why you feel powerless or helpless in most situations of your life. And almost always you blame the others for the situation you are in. Whenever you are making the other responsible for your life, what you are actually doing is giving the control of your life to the other. You are making the other powerful, by making him or her responsible for the whole situation and the irony is that you keep wondering why you are powerless and helpless.
We often relate to responsibility as a burden – something which makes us do more work, puts us under undue pressure or stress. But please understand, that responsibility is actually a great power. Putting the blame on others and responsibility on others creates violence , resistance. Putting the blame on you and responsibility on you creates guilt. Taking the responsibility but not putting the blame on anybody is power. This is what i call – Freedom. It liberates you from the clutches of your own helplessness and from another’s power on you. It leaves you with the power to respond to the life with creativity, intelligence and spontaneity.
When I talk about this subject, there was an incident some years back, an epidemic of tuberculosis in Tamil Nadu, South India. It took away many lives, but finally the medicine was found and the epidemic was contained. The officials who are responsible for eradicating it proudly claimed that they are the ones responsible for curing it. But, did they take up the responsibility for the fact that it was allowed to spread all over the town in the first place , ‘No’. They actually allowed it to spread across the town, they should have actually prevented it in the beginning itself but not just taking credit for managing the crisis. Likewise, in our lives we claim responsibility for anything good which happens, but we don’t take responsibility for anything bad that happens. We take up responsibility as a discrimination. We use “GOD” as a dust bin for all the bad things that happens in our life. Only when you take up the responsibility, you will take back the reins of your life from others. In Sanskrit, there is a beautiful book called “Swarajya Siddhi”, reclaiming your kingdom – the first step in reclaiming your kingdom is taking responsibility. When you start living with attitude “I am responsible”, your whole life will change. When you sit and analyze each and every incident in your life you will clearly see that you are the only one responsible for the incidents in your life.
Those who really wish to blossom should feel directly or indirectly are responsible for everything around them and in the whole world. So, the most fundamental form of responsibility is “Taking responsibility for your own state of consciousness and the state in which you are living”. Responsibility begins with you being established in total openness and acceptance of the view that you are the source of everything that is happening in your life, both inside and outside you. Though it may just seem to be a view, when you start living your life from this view then you will have the power to respond intelligently to life. You experiencing being, the source of all that happens in your life will make you powerful. Then your actions will be naturally aligned to the inner state of your being, powerful and intelligent. You will have the intelligence and power to alter situations in life, wherever you can. You will stop blaming others for the situation. You will not experience any guilt or shame when life doesn’t work the way you want it to.
Only when you perform and take responsibility your own idea about you raises. By nature you are bound by expansion. There can be either constant expansion or constant shrinking but nothing in between.