Responsibility is defined in the dictionary as:
“A duty or obligation to satisfactorily perform or complete a task (assigned by someone, or created by one’s own promise or circumstances) that one must fulfill, and which has a consequent penalty for failure. “
This is a good definition. It is an external constraint that you can use to hang yourself with (metaphorically speaking of course).
It is your ability to respond to someone else’s needs and accommodate them over yours. It is the opposite of freedom and feeding yourself. Because your effort goes towards feeding (power, nourishment, or other) others.
Responsibility is the same as enslavement because you serve someone else’s needs. There is no benefit for you. It is an obligation to someone else, and somebody else’s needs should not be your main concern. Some people trap others with responsibility.
Responsibility can limit your options and create a cage of “the right way to act.” People get depressed when they cannot complete their tasks because they feel responsible. For example, when you take care of a sick friend. When you nurse, pay for them and love them, there is less space for your own freedom. You might get depressed because you feel trapped. And you may come to resent them because the situation is a trap.
Responsibility is Control
Another example is if you take on responsibility for your friend who’s studying with you in a joint project. The project is due soon, but they leave you to do it for over a week. They have left you with the responsibility to complete the project alone. it takes away your freedom. How can you be friends if they keep doing these things? It makes it impossible for you to be friends with them.
Responsibility with people who like controlling other people is selfishness. It can lead to “resistance” on the part of the other person. This leads to the selfish person becoming even more controlling. Taking on responsibility with people who are this way is destructive. It is not selfishness but self-preservation to remove yourself from their company. No one wants to destroy themselves and their own well-being. Especially for others who abuse their good nature. Responsibility is the exact opposite of freedom.
Responsibility or Freedom
Responsibility is an obstacle that keeps people from being free. It is something that many people can’t avoid. It can take up a lot of their time. Freedom is when you have no obligation or responsibility to do anything. A free person can respond because they are not obligated.
A slave does not have the ability to respond. Their obligations keep them from responding. They are busy fulfilling their master’s needs and wants. When they do this, they are neglecting their own needs. A free person can act, not react from conditioned responses. Responsible actions are only an excuse for one’s inability to be free. People who are being bound will always feel a lack of freedom. They will struggle against life because they cannot do whatever they want.
Trapped by Responsibility
People who enjoy responsibility will not respond when something extraordinary happens. Their duty compels them to obey their programmed nature. They don’t know how to respond when something extraordinary happens in their life. For example, when they lose a loved one or get cancer. They can go into denial, bury themselves in their responsibilities, or break down.
They cannot respond because their obligations stop them from performing the appropriate actions. They may well go into denial and dig themselves deeper into their responsibilities. This is sad because they have ceased to live and have become an automaton.
Responsibility is the same as enslavement. Freedom is the opposite of both enslavement and responsibility. Enslavement is the inability to act, while responsibility is the inability to be free.
Pressure to Take Responsibility
Responsibility is nothing but a lie. It comes from a few people who feel threatened by others having freedom. Those who want to pressure us into conforming according to their wants. People who believe responsibility will make them happier fool themselves. They lock themselves into pain and denial. They will never experience any happiness because of it.
Responsibility is the opposite of freedom. When you are responsible for something, you have an obligation to it. Any kind of goodwill comes from the fact that you are feeling obligated. It is a feeling of not being good enough for yourself.
Conforming to Society
Responsibility has to do with the law, not freedom. Laws are not freedom because laws are not always right or fair. Some people want to make their truth into law, making it impossible for people to be free. If you’re responsible for something, it holds emotional constraint over you. If you develop an emotional bond with something you feel you must take care of. Because that’s what responsible people do.
Responsibility does not guarantee happiness. Happiness comes from freedom, not responsibility. The more responsibilities you have, the less free you are. The fewer responsibilities you have, the freer you are. A person might be responsible for the happiness of someone. That person might also be responsible for the happiness of someone else. When this happens, it is possible that the first person will never feel happy. They will feel like they deserve to be happy, but no one else returns anything to them. So, they are in a no-win situation.
Being Responsible for Yourself
You base your responsibility on your sense of obligation towards something or someone. Compare this to how much you care for yourself. The more responsibilities you have for others, the less you are free. It’s impossible to be free when you are responsible for someone else’s well-being. But it is possible to be free when you’re only responsible for yourself.
It all depends on where people set their boundaries. People who want to be responsible do not take free time for themselves. They will end up with no time for themselves at all. They will always be working toward their obligations and forgetting their own needs. Everything they do will feel like a duty toward someone else’s existence.
Through responsibility, you can feel good about yourself. You can have as much responsibility as you want. It won’t make you happier than if you had no obligation at all. When you take on responsibility, it is important to balance it and take time out for yourself.
Power Over Others
Some people want to feel responsible for other people’s well-being as an ego feed. They enjoy having power over others. This makes themselves feel better about who they are as an individual. These people may become bitter because they feel burdened. People who don’t take responsibility for their own freedom will always be stuck in a no-win situation. They will never be happy, and they’ll always want to take care of others. They don’t understand that it’s impossible to take care of everyone. The truth is that responsibility is nothing like freedom. Because responsibility isn’t real freedom.
Buddha asserted that life is suffering
“Life is difficult. Only when we accept that we can develop the tools to cope and move beyond it”
He also said
“We will have problems.”
By accepting these ideas, we understand that responsibility adds to life’s burdens. We need to have money and a support system such as a family to survive. Yet, beyond the basic needs that also serve us, responsibility is a burden imposed on us by others. They do this to shift the burden from their own back onto yours.
Over the years, that burden has become so exaggerated that it has turned into an obstacle to living. We have been browbeaten into believing that it is important to bear the world’s hardships. By taking full responsibility for others’ lives, you only shift the burden from them onto you. This has never been a healthy way to meet life’s challenges. Living in this manner has taken the edge off personal freedom. For somebody who shirks their duty of care for themselves, loses a lot. They lose flexibility, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. It also makes them more likely to be stuck in the past or fearful of the future.
You Before Others
So, if you please others, you will never have enough of what you need. We will always be lacking in something that others have, so you can never feel warm or complete. We will always be looking to the next “big” thing in life. We stress things we don’t have and how to get them. We do this even though we may already have more than what we need in life.
On the more positive side, having enough money and material goods is the basis of taking care of ourselves. Yet, we must also learn to take care of ourselves from a higher perspective. This means we learn to take care of our feelings and emotions. We try not to be destructive or hurtful to others or ourselves. Emotions can be very destructive, especially when turned inwards. When we have responsibility placed on our shoulders, it becomes a pressure. Through understanding it, we create a resistance to it.
Imagine putting a ton of weight onto a balloon. It will pop! Responsibility is the act of adding that pressure and hoping the balloon will not pop. In the end, it will pop. We see this in many of the tragedies that humans inflict on one another. Responsibility leads to oppression, which leads to an explosive outcome. Our minds, bodies, and emotions cannot take the pressure.
An appropriate response to this is to shrug off the responsibility. We can respond to a situation in our present experience. We do this without considering other people’s expectations of us for the future. The ‘you did it once, so it’s up to you to keep doing it’ is bullying. You have a right to be yourself and take care of yourself. Responsibility is taking care of others, not you, and oppresses you.
Taking care of yourself is freedom. We only have a true responsibility towards our own survival, this is ‘the will to life’. Everything we do in life is for our own benefit or is not done. Responsibility is a negative thing. When we take it on as a burden it only leads to problems and unhappiness.
This is another topic because it may not make sense to some. Some believe that altruism has no payoff, but these are beliefs that massage the ego.
As stated above, it is important to have a support system. It is also important not to take any responsibilities that you are not willing to take. When we live completely in this present moment, there is no room for responsibility in our lives. We accept no past or future expectations or demands on us. Because responsibility without payback is a burden that leads to punitive situations.
“That thing is said to be free which exists solely from the necessity of its own nature and is determined to action by itself alone. A thing is said to be necessary or rather, constrained, if it is determined by another thing to exist and to act in a definite and determinate way.”
Thus, responsibility is a form of constraint.
Here is another similar article on responsibility and freedom