Everyone has heard about responsibility. We all know that some people are responsible, others are irresponsible. Each of us at least once in a lifetime has heard such a phrase “You are irresponsible!” or “You don’t have a sense of responsibility!” and so on. But what does it mean? Not everyone understands the meaning of the words “responsibility” and “responsible / irresponsible”.
What is responsibility?
Responsibility is one of the traits of our character which means that a person is able to respond for his actions, is able to take some duties and to face certain consequences of the actions that may occur. Oxford dictionary defines responsibility as the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.
Definitely, people are not born with the sense of responsibility and it does not appear at once by a magic clasp of the fingers. Responsibility is something every person should cultivate in themselves; it should become a part of one’s personality. Lack of such a trait of character or even its absolute absence was never considered to be a positive feature. When you are responsible it is easier to gain the respect of the people and to take decent place in a society.
Importance of responsibility
Someone’s irresponsibility can be not only irritating when a person does not cope or does not want to cope with the duties, but in some cases, it can be dangerous. There are certain kinds of jobs which demand from a personal responsibility, jobs where lack of responsibility can lead to tragic consequences or even to a catastrophe.
Let us imagine a situation when a student was to write an essay but he did not manage to complete this task in time. A professor would definitely call the student irresponsible. In this case, there is no damage from irresponsibility, except for the student’s personal harm. But let’s also imagine another situation. An employee of a Nuclear Power Plant was not attentive enough, pushed a wrong button and it led to an explosion. This catastrophe caused by lack of responsibility as terrible consequences, it can damage not only the environment but also can take people’s lives. Of course, these examples are exaggerated but the last one shows how much important responsibility is.
To be or not to be responsible
Some people claim that responsibility is not in their nature. They say that they try to be responsible but nothing works. I don’t think it is fair enough. I believe that for someone responsibility is more natural, for others it is not. That is why for someone it can be easier to be responsible, while for others it is rather hard. Honestly saying, judging from my own experience sometimes it is so difficult to stay responsible, especially when you want to relax and to have a little rest without thinking about the duties you have.
It may seem that people who are too much responsible very often are too serious, and tensed, they can not enjoy their lives. Someone can even say that they are unhappy. Partially it can be true, but not necessarily. You can be a responsible and joyful person at the same time. Responsibility does not exclude happiness.
Nevertheless asking “To be or not to be responsible?” the answer is definite: to be! But you should always remember that everything is good in moderation.
Everything we were talking about is so-called personal responsibility. So, I think, it is important to mention social responsibility as well. Previously we discussed the meaning of citizenship. Now we can say that social responsibility is one of the components of citizenship, of relations between man and man in society. According to Wikipedia, social responsibility is an ethical framework and suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large. Social responsibility is a duty every individual has to perform so as to maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystems. Social responsibility is important and plays a great role in every sphere of our life. So if we want to live in a prosperous and developing society, we all should be conscious not only about personal but also about social responsibility. Each member of a community has his own responsibilities and duties towards himself and towards others which he has to fulfill to keep the cooperative spirit and to keep a balance not only between people but also between people and nature.
Since the very childhood everyone has certain responsibilities: responsibilities in a family, at school, university, at work and so on. Everyone is expected to implement these responsibilities and their non-fulfillment proclaims disapproval and indignation. So each of us more or less understands what responsibility is, what we need it for, and why it is very important.
Every parent tries to raise the sense of responsibility in their child. While we are children, our parents are responsible for us and our personal and especially social responsibility are not that clearly visible or shown. But when we grow up, we take full responsibility for everything we do and for every our action. We can not just call our mother or father and make them solve our problems. So being an adult means being responsible for yourself. Of course, there are many levels of responsibility and they differ from person to person. Only you can decide what your level is, whether you are responsible or not. Everything is up to you!
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Personal Responsibility and Social Roles
Personal responsibility includes being responsible for your own actions and well-being. In relation to social roles each person has their own way of doing things while living their own life. The concept is similar for businesses and organizations that work to provide opportunities for others. They have a responsibility in providing products, goods, and services that are fair while serving a purpose. In either scenario, consequences are suffered when failing to do what is right. In many cases, when you neglect to be responsible, others may be affected in ways you may not have anticipated.
Responsibility is something most people are taught from an early age. As you get older you take what you learn and use it to your advantage to help you sustain a healthy way of living. This includes taking care of yourself from the inside out while managing emotions and other needs. Sometimes a consequence suffered from a previous event can make it more difficult for an individual to assume personal responsibility on a social scale. Keeping a sound mind and treating others with respect are things you continue to do throughout your life.
When you do something wrong a consequence will follow as this is a part of human nature. But, there are actions that can be avoided yet people will do them anyway knowing potential consequences. For instance, youth are taught to stay away from drugs and illegal substances because they can harm the body and even lead to death. Unfortunately, youth are taught consequences of using drugs beforehand and many still turn around and engage using them anyway. Consequences suffered may be worse than originally thought, or an individual may think nothing will happen to them.
It seems simple enough to help yourself by doing health activities and staying away from things that are bad for you. But, some feel being responsible in this nature is boring and want some excitement in their lives. You can engage in interesting things worthwhile without harming yourself or going against personal ethics. For some, it may not be enough to do the right thing every day and others may not see a point in doing so. Your actions speak louder than words and you may not realize who looks to you for support or as a role model. Unfortunately, many do not realize how their actions can affect others whether they meant to be positive or negative.