Are We Responsible For What We Don’t Do As Well?

It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do, are we responsible for what we dont do?, being responsible quotes, self improvement quote analysis, quotes on responsibility

“Between an action and inaction, I would choose the former even at the cost of being wrong!” – Of course, I am paraphrasing a very strong notion about action. I find it quite exciting to realize that our lives are filled with so much of experience and richness. The richness in thoughts, desires, ambitions, passions – it is as if a whole new world keeps discovering itself every often.

Amidst these many, I believe there are so many things we have done in life, the ones which we take responsibility for, the ones which make us proud and the mistakes which we look at as growing experiences. But in the realm of all these, I am sure there will also be certain small things which we try to escape from – maybe those small hitches to take actions maybe like nursing a puppy or helping someone cross the road. One of the thoughts I have usually had when I didn’t do those were – ‘Someone else would do it’ and someone would actually come and do it but it was rarely me. A part of me said that I should help that old man cross the road and a part of me was reluctant since it kept telling that there would be someone else, that part which was sluggish, that part which did not want to own up to certain responsibilities. Every time I did that, I felt relieved seeing someone else help out  – I figured that way a part of my responsibility is taken care of and I was able to go past that event with ease.

But I realize maybe one of the reasons not to do it was that I didn’t want to feel responsible about it. Maybe I felt it was a little too much. I am not sure if you had similar experiences but I guess there might be some of them where we have found way to pass off the responsibility on us. Although most times it ended in being delegated very effectively, there were also times where they were not and I would just leave to avoid any action or a compunction to create an action! I am sure there can be a lot of words to describe this action, but I am also sure it all was led by one thought – avoiding responsibility.

But I do realize now that we are held accountable not just for the things we do but also for the things we don’t do. Sometimes maybe not to someone else but to ourselves. Given a choice, I think it might be easier to be not responsible for someone else but when we do that to ourselves, it is not the easiest of the emotions to handle. Well as they say, growing up sucks, taking responsibilities sucks but taking responsibilities for things we did not do..?? Well that also sucks to a certain bit but in the end, it is all worth it 🙂

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12 Responses to "Are We Responsible For What We Don’t Do As Well?"

  1. There is a famous poem by Rabindranath Tagore. I am loosely translating from Bengali. If it carries a different meaning, it is my fault. “One who does wrong and the other who tolerates it, both are equally guilty of the wrong doing”

    1. Thank you Abhijit! That’s a very nice way to put it! An equal share of guilt – a very valid one indeed. Sometimes I even wonder if the person who tolerates it is a little more culpable! Well I guess that’s up for debate.

      I wish I could understand Bengali though, reading Tagore would have been an extraordinary delight! 🙂

  2. Interesting read. True growing up sucks at times but in the end we should do it not as a burden of responsibilities but as we share the same world being human beings. 🙂

  3. I agree with the previous comment by Abhijitji.
    Lord Krishna has stated the same in the Mahabharata. Why take up responsibility for something we haven’t done, unless in rare/exceptional cases…
    Else, there are many who are ever ready to make us scapegoat so that they can escape blame!
    Notice how success has so many claimants & failure is such an orphan! 🙂 In case of failure, people pass the buck & responsibility!

    1. I sure agree Anita, the Bhagawadgita certainly is one of the finest treatises ever and the Best book on any management! There certainly are a lot of people who are more than willing to pass the buck and there are the poor scapegoats as well. But I guess the beauty lies in the balance! The part where he says being a part of something and yet dissociating oneself from it – the true definition of karmayoga. That for me sums it all up as a beautiful definition of LIFE in itself 🙂

    1. Isn’t it? I have often wondered how much I have missed out on for not doing so many things. Have tried to shed responsibility so many times so that I could feel better. But I guess the only real time I have felt better is when I actually took it up and did it. Maybe responsibility is not such a bad thing after all 🙂

  4. I think that sometimes people choose not to act or take responsibility as they are in a situation that allows for the person to take just that, responsibility, no authority to take decisions or change parameters, just execute.. an once that happens they are stuck with it. Another instance is where people can see something wrong happening, and don’t do anything about it. It may a be a simple instance of someone saying something wrong about another person that is a lie. its really sad. Won’t they feel even a bit of guilt when they see the other person suffer in front of their eyes and they, knowing the truth, keep quiet!! good post 🙂

    1. That’s so true Preethi, end of the day we are all responsible for our actions or inaction and we are the ones who have to live with them. I guess as long as we are satisfied about it, it is the way ahead. If not, maybe it is time to do some rework on it!

      Like you said, I am sure we will keep finding a lot of those people who do nothing about it and keep trying to pass on the responsibility. I fail to understand the gratification in it though. It all seems so murky to me!


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