Freedom and Responsibility

Freedom and Responsibility

To be free is to take responsibility for your own happiness.

Today we tend to delegate to others choices we alone are responsible for. We delegate our children’s and our own education to school, we delegate our emotions to a psychologist, we delegate our happiness to someone else’s love for us, we delegate our reason to politicians and our culture to experts.

When we delegate we think we are getting rid of the responsibility. Once you send your son to school, it’s not your fault any more if he doesn’t learn, once someone loves you it’s not on you any more to remember to love yourself, once an expert declares something, you don’t have to interrogate yourself so much about it any more, and it’s not on you if the expert, and you with him, turns out to be wrong.

Delegating makes us feel like the weight of responsibility is not pushing down on our shoulders any more.

But that is just a wrong impression. Delegation doesn’t take away the responsibility, it just makes us feel justified for ignoring it.

When we delegate our education or our happiness to someone else, we are responsible not only for the choice to delegate, but also for every choice that other person makes for us.

Responsibility is always on us, we can decide to leave it to someone else to influence it or we can own it. But it’s there, it makes us responsible for everything that happens to us.

Once we own it, accept it, we are free. Then there are no sacrifices and no mistakes, there are no faults of others: everything is a choice, and everything is our choice.

Being free is not just rainbows and joy, freedom is a difficult thing to live with. Freedom means that if you’re unhappy it’s on you and you alone. Happiness is your own responsibility and shouldn’t depend on anyone else. Success is your own responsibility and shouldn’t depend on anything else. Life is your own, and no one can lead yours but you.

That’s not an easy concept.

People deny it, but freedom is a “hard” choice to make, it takes courage and determination, it takes strength and passion. It’s so much easier to keep delegating, so very less complicated to just follow the mass and standardise. Doing what you’re told or expected to do is easy, deciding what to do from scratch is not.

 

Once you are free and responsible for your life, you learn there are no failures, only lessons, and there are no sacrifices, only choices, and there are no duties, only passions, and there are no mistakes, only life.

Not because freedom is easy, but because a free life is happy even in the darkest and most difficult moments.

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2 thoughts on “Freedom and Responsibility

  1. “Once you are free and responsible for your life, you learn there are no failures, only lessons”

    Would you also say that once you are free and responsible for your life, you learn there are no successes only lessons ?

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    • Well, partially, I guess. On a philosophical level, there are no failures or successes, there’s just learning more and taking another step.
      On a more material and practical level, viewing failures as failures gives you nothing, but viewing them as lessons gives you something to learn, something to add instead of something that feels like it’s being taken away. But – always on that practical level – successes can feel good on their own and bring self-esteem and confidence, which can be good per se.
      They both are lessons anyway, in the end, I think.

      Like

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