Friday, July 20, 2007

Mama Says Om - Responsibility

The word responsibility emerges from Old English lexicon, then from the Old French respondére (to answer or reply), and finally from the Latin word respondere: to answer, promise in return, or pledge something.

It's a word we all hear from the time we are capable of forming words and sentences of our own, and something we are admonished to assume, adopt or take up for ourselves. For some reason, "being responsible " is deemed the province of adults - to act responsibly implies maturity beyond one's years and steady progress (if progress it is) into adulthood. I love the idea of responsibility as response, promise or pledge.

On a day to day basis, being responsible means that we should embrace our failures as well as our successes, and that we should pick up after ourselves. It means that we should communicate with others in a genuine way, and that we should honor the bonds which tie us together as a community. That community certainly includes other human beings, but it also embraces every tree and butterfly and stone, the earth from which we came and on which we stand, the sun, the moon and the summer stars overhead.

Perhaps we can take responsibility for our ceaseless and thoughtless despoiling of the planet and start cleaning things up? That kind of responsibility is way overdue.

Written for the blithe mamas at Mama says Om.


Michele said...

Wonderful post, lots to ponder here.

Rowan said...

All I can say is 'Hear,hear'! Too many people these days are more interested in what they consider to be their rights - as my mother always said 'rights bring responsibilities' - that doesn't seem to be the feeling any more.