Responsibility is good if it stays at this thought – Live and let live – and ensuring to atleast not make it worse for others.

But when it transforms in ‘oughts’, ‘shoulds’, ‘musts’ and other ‘duties’ those are told to us by others, then it becomes a weight which keeps increasing throughout life. If we closely observe, responsibilities flow from our priorities and vice-versa. We cannot say which comes first. But it’s always a choice to modulate and rejig our responsibilities or priorities according to our acquired knowledge. Therefore, knowledge becomes of paramount importance. However it must not be forgotten that we can only act in purview of this acquired knowledge, which is never complete and wholesome; hence what remains is the perpetual state of imperfection. That’s Life and journey of growth as well. Mistakes are bound to happen, but learning is also sure.

Since we are born in certain families, we are bestowed with some gifts (past karma credits) and loaded with some duties (karmic debts) as well. But as we grow, our perception of family changes as we include more people in our social circle, hence our ‘duties’ change too. In this process, we are met with both joy and pain – bearing out of this flux of increasing and limiting priorities. However, the path of love and integrity shown to us by Shri Ram and that of dharma by Shri Krishna is that that even if we choose one over other, we never intend to harm the one where our priority has become limited. However we could be called as neglecting something or someone, but it’s never with an objective of inflicting harm.

That’s why the phrase ‘live and let live‘ gathers such importance in this age. If we look closely, it says everything about freedom. Freedom is the only goal and it’s the only way as well. And only the true knowledge shall guide us there.

In the context of responsibilities, we should re-assess what we (are made to) think about things we’re (made to feel) responsible for. It’s also important to see that these responsibilities are reinforced externally by someone or any situation, or do we feel inside ourselves. All in all, we’re responsible for *our own world*. So, let’s define our world and it’s boundaries clearly, before undefined boundaries start crushing us.

People include other people, assets, activities (social or familial), other’s happiness, welfare etc in their own world, not knowing about the weight they carry. It’s not about what we include, rather it’s what we think about our duties towards that which we include. It gets complicated in case of people whom we include, because that gets burdened by not only our interpretation of duties, but their expectations as well. That’s why all sorts of relationships are so complex.

Our best responsibility is to be able to remain joyful, loving and happy around someone (while giving least priority to material things). The only caveat is ‘someone’ should not make it a dependency – as it will render them handicapped in case we decide (or forced by life) to move on. Because when someone becomes dependent, it will definitely become a burden on other after sometime (not to suggest it should, but such is life and it’s dynamic). Hence collective growth is so important, so that we can avoid becoming burden on others. In our culture, family (parents, siblings, wife, and children) are seen to be lifelong ties. But as the case is – in today’s modern world where we are toiling hard to find our own individuality in a lost world – it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep even these lifelong ties safe!

The solution lies in honestly figuring out dependencies, and then helping each others get over these dependencies to grow collectively. But if it’s too difficult in this stage and if we have come too far from this solution, then the only method that could work and help us tread the path is of freedom. No, it’s not about running away or about our own freedom. What is meant here is others’ freedom. Free them of our own expectations, free them of our clutches, free them of our judgements, wants and wishes. And let’s take our own personal responsibility. Because only when we free others from ourselves, we can be free inside ourselves.

Let’s bear the responsibility of self, which can effectively lead us and others to freedom.

Jai Sri Hari 😊

Ashish Sharma Om

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