Virtue of the Week: Responsibility

Get Up On That Ladder!

James Alexander Thom, on the fear of taking responsibility: Have you ever had to paint some roof trim, high up? You get halfway up that 36-foot extension ladder and you start wondering about the ladder, its footing and your body weight. You stop and hug the ladder, looking neither up nor down. Your left leg begins a ridiculous but uncontrollable shuddering. At length you conquer that particular rung and inch your way to the next, then the next. Finally you’re at the top, clinging for your life. How can you take one hand off the ladder to use the paintbrush? But you do. Tight as a fiddle you begin. The sky is clear. The sun is nice. The thirsty wood soaks up the paint. You whistle and think positive thoughts and do a good job and forget about the height. You’ve learned an important lesson of life from this. No matter what higher responsibility you take on, it’s scary, very scary, until you start working.


The Four College Students

One night four college students were out partying late night and didn’t study for the test which was scheduled for the next day. In the morning, they thought of a plan. They made themselves look dirty with grease and dirt. Then they went to the Dean and said they had gone out to a wedding last night and on their way back the tire of their car burst and they had to push the car all the way back. So they were in no condition to take the test.

The Dean thought for a minute and said they can have the re-test after 3 days. They thanked him and said they will be ready by that time.

On the third day, they appeared before the Dean. The Dean said that as this was a Special Condition Test, all four were required to sit in separate classrooms for the test. They all agreed as they had prepared well in the last 3 days.

The Test consisted of only 2 questions with the total of 100 Points.

1) Your Name __________ (1 Points)

2) Which tire burst? __________ (99 Points)

Options – (a) Front Left (b) Front Right (c) Back Left (d) Back Right

Moral: Be Responsible else you too will learn your lesson!


The power of responsibility by Michael Josephsen

It’s been said that the line between childhood and adulthood is crossed when we move from saying ‘It got lost’ to ‘I lost it.’

Indeed, being accountable – and understanding and accepting the role our choices play in the things that happen – are crucial signs of emotional and moral maturity. That’s why responsibility is one of the main pillars of good character. Many people have been seduced by the Peter Pan philosophy of refusing to grow up and avoiding the burdens implied in being accountable. Yes, responsibility sometimes requires us to do things that are unpleasant or even frightening. It asks us to carry our own weight, prepare and set goals, and exercise the discipline to reach our aspirations. But the benefits of accepting responsibility far outweigh the short-lived advantages of refusing to do so. No one makes his or her life better by avoiding responsibility. In fact, irresponsibility is a form of self-imposed servitude – to circumstances and to other people. Responsibility is about our ability to respond to circumstances and to choose the attitudes, actions, and reactions that shape our lives. It is a concept of power that puts us in the driver’s seat. The grand panorama of the potential of our lives can only be appreciated when we begin to be accountable and self-reliant. Responsible people not only depend on themselves, but show others that they can be depended on. This breeds trust, and trust is a key that opens many doors. If you want more control over your life and the pleasures, prerogatives, and power of freedom and independence, all you have to do is be responsible.


Video on taking responsibility.