A few nights ago my mother and I debated about what responsibility really was. She said that it was to take ownership of something or the act of making sure something happens. I disagreed. My idea was that responsibility is something that drives you to do something and that without it nothing would get done. My mom countered with “So then fun is now a responsibility, do you feel responsible for fun?” No. And I guess that plenty of responsibilities are never fulfilled, and great deals of things are accomplished without any responsibility taken. So really, what does responsibility mean?
If you were to ask most people they would have a little trouble defining the word without using the word responsible. And that is because the word itself is so broad it could mean many things. Modern day dictionaries say that is it accountability or blame, or even maturity and trustworthiness, words that have almost infinite synonyms. To me responsibility is more than just doing something. Responsibility is going to school, doing homework, going to bed on time, and writing this paper. Of course those are the responsibilities of highest priority and that is why I take the time and effort to get those done.
Later that same night we brought the responsibility discussion to the dinner table. When asked, my sister said that responsibility is to do work. Maybe that’s why all of her responsibilities are a burden to her, like writing applications, getting straight A’s or other school/work related things. To my dad responsibility is doing what he promised to do or what he has to do. Maybe that’s why other people’s responsibilities differ. If you have a different opinion or thought on what is the right thing to do, then you responsibilities are going to be different from another person with, say, a different view on life.
One definition of responsibility that I feel personally is spot on is maturity. As a child what responsibility meant to me was completely different from what it means...