Why human beings don’t accept responsibility?
There are problems in life. Life is difficult, sure it is. It is never easy. It never was and it was not meant to be either. But we need to accept it, sooner the better. But there are people who deny this, they believe they are destined to be happy and are never going to become unhappy. Whenever a challenge comes in their bucket, they try to escape from that challenge. It is like you are on a railway track and you see a train approaching you. There is fire on either side of the track. You turn back and start running hoping that you will run so fast that the train will never be able to catch you.
But that is never going to happen. You need to take some proactive action, whatever it may be. Escaping from the problem is not going to work. This is more or less the situation all of us are in. We try to run away from the problems, instead of getting prepared to solve them.
It reminds me of the story of Swami Vivekananda. The Swami was a wandering monk, traveling across the world, accumulating information, understanding the lives of people, and trying as best as he could to help his brethren. It so happened one day that he was traveling across a forest with a stick in his hand. Some wild monkeys happened to see the Swami and started running after him. Swami got scared as he felt that he might get injured by these monkeys. He began to run and the monkeys followed him. A sage sitting in the forest, meditating, saw the Swami running.
He shouted loudly, “Sadhu! Don’t run from these monkeys. Face them, head on!”
Vivekananda realized that to run from the monkey was an act of cowardice. So he turned towards the monkeys lifted his stick and looked straight towards them. The monkeys got nervous and turned back and went away.
And this is the only way, we can approach life. Life will only become worse if we don’t analyze the situation and take control of it. It is OUR responsibility to do things. There is no point in waiting for another person to say, “IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY! TAKE CARE!” Only one person amongst his 20 colleagues ends up being a leader. Why? Because he took responsibility for his actions. It gets noticed, for sure. It matters lesser if others recognize it, but it matters very much for our individual confidence if we take ownership of our situations.
There are some evident responsibilities, like the responsibility to take care of the family, the responsibility of keeping track of savings, planning for your children’s progress, paying bills, etc. Some people even lack in these areas, but most of us, somehow fulfill that responsibility to a certain extent. But our state of mind, our mental health, our social life, physical exercise, are some of the responsibilities where people lack more. Providing education and good life to children is one part, but giving them proper time, guidance with good manners is a challenging opportunity which people hate.
Doing work which is assigned to us, is a responsibility which we do take. But we are too lazy to think about the long-term effects of the actions and the challenges our organization is going to face in the future. We are not willing to take ownership of the wider horizon.
If you question somebody and ask him why is he not taking any proactive action for the problem he is facing. He will be ready to give you a list of reasons why things are not working. He will give you excuses, which will be very gratifying to him but lacking any justification. But the same situation, if encountered by another person, who takes responsibility, will surely be addressed in a better fashion.
So what is the gist? Now we have understood why people lack the courage to take responsibility? The answer is simple, it is evident. Be humble to accept that you have more responsibilities than you think you have. Your zone is much wider than what you have thought of. Sooner or later, the things which you have ignored will haunt you. So be proactive, be receptive and do things. It is difficult to change the programming of our mind, but surely it is possible.