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Author Topic: Personal responsibility and your path  (Read 2539 times)

Sarah

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Personal responsibility and your path
« on: July 25, 2014, 07:04:03 pm »
I'm interested in the concept of personal responsibility and how that works in the context of your life and your path

Was the way your path deals with personal responsibility part of why you chose/built it?

Has your path expanded/changed your understanding of personal responsibility?

Did you already have a concept of personal responsibility that is independent/not really influenced by your path?

How would you define personal responsibility?

I'll add my own thoughts in a reply to the thread
Knowing when to use a shovel is what being a witch is all about. Nanny Ogg, Witches Abroad

Altair

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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014, 08:12:53 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;153915
I'm interested in the concept of personal responsibility and how that works in the context of your life and your path

Was the way your path deals with personal responsibility part of why you chose/built it?

Has your path expanded/changed your understanding of personal responsibility?

Did you already have a concept of personal responsibility that is independent/not really influenced by your path?

How would you define personal responsibility?

I'll add my own thoughts in a reply to the thread


I think my idea of personal responsibility pre-dates my path but probably is one of many reasons why mine suits me. It was learned mostly from my (nonreligious) parents and boils down to, "If you see something wrong in the world, it's your responsibility to do something to fix it."

My path holds that the world is what we make it; that creation is ongoing, and we are active participants, every day. That puts the responsibility for making change squarely on my shoulders.
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MadZealot

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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2014, 08:33:14 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;153915
How would you define personal responsibility?

 
Hm.  Well I'd say that we're all empowered to make our own choices and we fully own the fallout of the bad ones.  Also, whatever external forces may be influencing you, your still make your own decisions.  So, the Devil didn't make you do it.  He might have talked, but you chose to listen.  
(I don't believe in the Devil, but if I did... I certainly wouldn't let him take the wheel.)

In short: free will, I guess.  Free will is our personal power.  And, like the funnybook says, with power comes responsibility.
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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2014, 09:07:56 pm »
Oooh, excellent chewy questions! Taking in slight different order, because I think it might be more use to define what I mean first.

Quote from: Jake_;153915
How would you define personal responsibility?


Personal responsibility, for me, is about recognising my role in what I do. It is not the NewAgey 'everything happens for a reason' and 'you create your own reality, so if you don't like your reality, it's your own damn fault'.

But it is about remembering that I have choices in the actions I make, and the are consequences in those actions, and about recognising that if I don't like my life in some way, I almost certainly have some choices about how to change *something* in the situation, whether that's the actual situation, my attitude toward it, or reaching out for additional support.

(Or that if I'm not doing that, well, stuff is unlikely to change for a bit.)

What I come down to is that I think I'm responsible for acting in a way I can live with later, in a way that gives me more choices rather than fewer, in a way that means I don't give away my power, my sense of self (the personal) but is also aware of how what I'm doing affects others and the world around me (the responsibility part).

Quote
Has your path expanded/changed your understanding of personal responsibility?


Yes - particularly in the place where my personal responsibility hits other people's personal responsibility. I can't control their actions (and they don't get to control mine) but somewhere between our two sets of responsibility is reality.

(now I feel like I've wandered into a section of Eliot's Little Gidding).
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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2014, 06:06:31 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;153915
I'm interested in the concept of personal responsibility and how that works in the context of your life and your path

 
This is one of the central pivots to FlameKeeping, and one of the reasons I've created/worded the path.

Basically, we can't change the past - we cope with the present and create the future.  What we do NOW changes what will BE.  We have to own that we have that power and be aware of how we use it.

Obviously, individual power only goes so far.  We are both individual AND part-of-group, and those truths need to balance each other.  Too much good-for-me that's expense-of-group isn't right any more than the opposite.  Our ability to create the future is a communal one - what other people do changes my future, and what I do changes theirs.  Unintended consequences happen, and I have to own those too.  (to the extent that is reasonable - if my being on the road is the tipping point that causes a car crash, but I was doing /nothing wrong/ by being there or in my driving to cause it, it's not /my fault/).

But responsibility - we create the future.  Communally, with a community that includes the planet, the sun, and any astronomical effects that affect us.  What we do matters, and we need to own that and be aware of it.  It'll hit us either way, so we need to be aware and own it.

Lana288

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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2014, 06:41:42 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;153915
I'm interested in the concept of personal responsibility and how that works in the context of your life and your path

Was the way your path deals with personal responsibility part of why you chose/built it?

Has your path expanded/changed your understanding of personal responsibility?

Did you already have a concept of personal responsibility that is independent/not really influenced by your path?

How would you define personal responsibility?

I'll add my own thoughts in a reply to the thread


Hmmm. The portrayal of infidelity in Baltic myth helped things along, but beyond that, no, nothing I can think of.

Possibly? I think so, but I can't think of any specific changes beyond a complete embrace of minimalism.

Yes. I tended and still do think that personal responsibility starts with oneself, everything one starts, and everything one becomes a part of (generally speaking).

In application to my life, I've taken to the mindset that if everything I start is my responsibility, then so is everything I own/take part in. This and minimalism have helped me live my life to no end.

veggiewolf

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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2014, 11:39:59 am »
Quote from: Jake_;153915
I'm interested in the concept of personal responsibility and how that works in the context of your life and your path

Was the way your path deals with personal responsibility part of why you chose/built it?

Has your path expanded/changed your understanding of personal responsibility?

Did you already have a concept of personal responsibility that is independent/not really influenced by your path?

How would you define personal responsibility?

I'll add my own thoughts in a reply to the thread


What a great topic!  I’m going to answer these questions slightly out of order:

Personal responsibility, for me, is the acknowledgement that all of my choices have effects that go beyond me.  This includes choosing to do nothing; as the song goes, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice!”  I must, therefore, look at what I choose to do or not do and mitigate the effects on others as appropriate.

In addition, if an effect that I did not see becomes apparent later, it is my duty to take ownership of the choice that caused the effect, whether good or ill, and fix it if it is fixable.  If it is not fixable, then I must still own the choice and make an effort to do better in the future.

This view of personal responsibility serves me well in my practice as a Kemetic (see concept of ma’at) and a FlameKeeper (see Shad’s fabulous response in this thread).  In fact, I’ll be a little (or very) absolutist here and say that both require an acceptance of personal responsibility and actions in line with that acceptance.

My definition of personal responsibility has changed over time and you can actually see examples of it here on TC.  I think I became more serious about owning my shit as I grew as a FlameKeeper and a Kemetic, and I became less likely to disclaim my part in things that go awry.  I didn’t choose to be on this path because of how personal responsibility is handled, but I became better at it through my practices.  It helps that I am literally not allowed to fester and be stagnant – I must choose, all the time.

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PhantomQueen

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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2014, 03:12:57 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;153915
I'm interested in the concept of personal responsibility and how that works in the context of your life and your path

Was the way your path deals with personal responsibility part of why you chose/built it?

Has your path expanded/changed your understanding of personal responsibility?

Did you already have a concept of personal responsibility that is independent/not really influenced by your path?

How would you define personal responsibility?

 
I was introduced to personal responsibility while in the spiritualist church and it's continued on to my present path.  I think it's one of those truths that is universal.  My personal opinion is that you've got to be true to yourself first and foremost and also to be responsible for your own actions.  Your actions will always have consequences-good or bad.  They will affect others in some way, so this is why (I think) it's so important to ensure that motives are good.  I was told once that a person is to leave the world better than you've found it for at least seven generations down the road.  If the world now is better than what my ancestors have lived, then it's up to me to ensure that it's better for those after me.

I think this way of thinking was always there for me.  I think it's part of the path I've been on as well as the way my family raised me.  As I get older, I find deeper meanings to personal responsibility that broaden the term, but I don't think it's changed how I perceive it to any negative extent.  

For me, personal responsibility is staying linked with life as if I were part of a web while still being able to be an individual and responsible for my miniscule part of the universe.

Sophia C

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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2014, 04:39:03 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;153915
I'm interested in the concept of personal responsibility and how that works in the context of your life and your path

Was the way your path deals with personal responsibility part of why you chose/built it?

Has your path expanded/changed your understanding of personal responsibility?

Did you already have a concept of personal responsibility that is independent/not really influenced by your path?

How would you define personal responsibility?

I'll add my own thoughts in a reply to the thread

I guess I'm going to look like an idiot here... But I don't know what is meant by personal responsibility. People have talked about a few things here but none of them has really clarified it for me. What's your definition of personal responsibility, Jake? Or anyone else who cares to answer? I honestly don't know what is meant by it.
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Sarah

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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2014, 05:33:21 pm »
Quote from: Naomi J;154188
I guess I'm going to look like an idiot here... But I don't know what is meant by personal responsibility. People have talked about a few things here but none of them has really clarified it for me. What's your definition of personal responsibility, Jake? Or anyone else who cares to answer? I honestly don't know what is meant by it.

 
I left the definition open so people could go with whatever they thought personal responsibility meant to them. (and no you don't look like an idiot)
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Sefiru

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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2014, 07:26:22 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;154038
We are both individual AND part-of-group, and those truths need to balance each other.  Too much good-for-me that's expense-of-group isn't right any more than the opposite.


This is a good point, and thanks for articulating something I've had on the brain lately.

I was brought up with a set of values that I guess collectively add up to personal responsibility. They are:

- Respectability: which includes a given level of self-care, common courtesy, and not being a dick.
- Integrity: being true to oneself; avoiding hypocrisy and double standards (or as the saying goes, throwing stones in glass houses).
- Solidarity: supporting fellow members of one's community.
- Industriousness: getting stuff done, and giving one's best effort to a task (if something is worth doing, it's worth doing well).

Balancing these with each other can be tricky at times.

Astrid

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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2014, 09:02:52 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;153915
I'm interested in the concept of personal responsibility and how that works in the context of your life and your path

This might be a ridiculous over simplification, but for me it really comes down to accountability. Will I be proud of, or at least at ease with my actions? If someone were to know of my actions will I feel ashamed, embarrassed or guilty? If, for some reason, an outcome were to occur that I had not considered, would I at least be okay with knowing that I'd made the best decision I could at the time with the information that I had? And if that does happen, I believe I am entirely responsible for taking ownership of, and rectifying anything that requires rectification.

Ultimately, I try to imagine I'm looking at my actions and choices from another person's perspective who has the same morals and ideologies as I do, or a good friend whose opinion I highly value.

As for how my path relates to my sense of personal responsibility, I think I've always held this idea, but my path has made it more important and prevalent than before.

I hope that makes sense!
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 09:05:45 pm by Astrid »

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DancesWithHorses

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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2014, 09:47:51 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;153915

Was the way your path deals with personal responsibility part of why you chose/built it?

Has your path expanded/changed your understanding of personal responsibility?

Did you already have a concept of personal responsibility that is independent/not really influenced by your path?

How would you define personal responsibility?

 
I would say personal responsiblity did factor in my eventual move to heathenism/polytheism. I spent years thinking it over before deciding to pursue my ever-growing interest in witchcraft and spellwork, for me that was the Mount Everest of personal responsibility because undoing a spell is very hard. So yes, my path has changed and expanded my understanding of what responsibility is, it made it more defined.

Yes, very much so. I was raised in a farming family. There was no such thing as blaming someone else for your mistake, we were held accountable for everything we did. I learned to never say "yes" unless I could commit to something 100%. For me personal responsibility is owning my actions and accepting the consequences. It is doing my best when I say I will do something. It is standing by those who I am loyal to and it is removing myself from toxic situations. If I break it, I own up to it and then I fix it. If I don't like something in my life, I do my best to change it. That is what it is to me, its about actions, not about words. It's backing up words with actions.
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Siren

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Re: Personal responsibility and your path
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2014, 04:06:33 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;153915
I'm interested in the concept of personal responsibility and how that works in the context of your life and your path

Was the way your path deals with personal responsibility part of why you chose/built it?

Has your path expanded/changed your understanding of personal responsibility?

Did you already have a concept of personal responsibility that is independent/not really influenced by your path?

How would you define personal responsibility?

I'll add my own thoughts in a reply to the thread


I must confess, I soured on the actual phrase "personal responsibility" a while back, and it all happened in the short space of about a year. I just started running into too many people who were using it as a hammer to victim-blame people with. :mad:

But I still have been working on a lot of the stuff I would have called personal responsibility, before I got sick of the term, and I wish I had a better term for it (or that victim-blamers would get their own term, ha!). Some of it is as a result of my spiritual path and some of it, I think, came from more secular growth-experiences, but it's all linked somewhere and somehow.

Both the idea that "a witch's word needs to mean something" and the fact that I have deities linked to oaths have led me to be a lot more careful about promising things than I used to be. I'm a lot more likely, now, to honestly say "I'll try" than to risk overpromising and underdelivering.

I used to have fidelity issues in my relationships, when I was younger, and I consciously decided when getting into the current one several years ago, I'm not going to cheat. It started as a LDR and so I could have easily gotten away with it--I just didn't want to be "The Kind of Person who Cheats" anymore. Even if no one would ever know, I'd know, and I didn't want that to be me anymore. It's like I have a mental "XXX Days since Infidelity" sign in my head, and at this point I'm damned proud of it and don't want to go back to zero. And this feeds back into my spirituality because I once had a chance to have sort of a spiritual affair, and turned away from it.

I still mess up at things. Just yesterday, I fear I put some unnecessary negativity into someone's day while trying to do a good deed. I try to forgive myself for things.

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