Above all, she was very clear that nothing would mean anything if I didn’t live a life of use to others,” said Jolie. “And I didn’t know what that meant for a long time. It was only when I began to travel and look and live beyond my home that I understood my responsibility to others.”
The above quote is from one of my favorite actors. A beautiful humanitarian, also know as Angelina… (See her incredible acceptance speech recently at the Governers Ball in Hollywood)
Read the quote again and what you will notice is how she uses the word “responsibility.”
To me, this word, as she used it had immediate resonance. The kind that makes you nod your head up and down emphatically.
What does the word “responsibility” mean to you?
The dictionary provides three primary definitions:
noun ( pl. responsibilities )
- the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone: women bear children and take responsibility for child care.
- the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something: the group has claimed responsibility for a string of murders.
- the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization: we would expect individuals lower down the organization to take on more responsibility.
What if we swapped #1 and #3..?
What would happen to this world if the third definition, which is basically “the ability to respond/take action” was the primary definition. Think about it… think about:
- how much we would actually care about each other
- how we would give, without expecting to receive
- how we would care, before being cared for
- how we would take responsibility for things even when they’re not our fault- we’d want to, simply because we can
- how proactive and evolved government would be
- how politicking would change as a result of the citizens taking responsibility for their government
- how destructive, selfish, fear based and manipulative organizations and individuals would be exposed and run out of town
- how problems would be prevented or solved before they are actually problems
- how “health care” would be about “caring for health” vs “bandaids masking symptoms”
- how people would focus on their strengths instead of their weaknesses
- how much safer the world would be, virtually free of greed and crime
Think about how amazing it would be… think about how much the the far right would get pissy and accuse us of “socialism” and such- but THINK ABOUT IT! How fun would it be if there was a movement of people taking full responsibility for everyone and everything as if it were their own…
In my opinion we can’t afford not to work towards changing the societal paradigm surrounding responsibility. The more people that start taking action because they can, vs should, out of obligation or duty, the better the world becomes. (Unless you are one of those hoping and praying that the world comes to an end soon… but that’s a different topic.)
On this week’s WAKE UP podcast, I dove into the topic of responsibility. Check it out…
…and help spread the word; if you care. 🙂
P.S. Next week, on the November 26th Episode we’ll exploring choosing which responsibilties are important to us and how by prioritizing them we can not only increase the quality of our own lives, but also the lives of those around us.