Personal Responsibility (and Public Interactions)

I got to thinking this afternoon: how does your religion view personal responsibility? And in particular, how does it look at what your obligations are in public settings.

(I work, as most of you know, in an academic library, but we allow and generally encourage community patrons to make use of our resources. I was talking to a co-worker today about the behaviour of a particular person, and we were particularly discussing how we deal with drawing the line about some things that are having a negative impact on other library users.)

My own path has a high value on it, but my actual usual model comes from a description elsewhere from someone who used to post on the Cauldron (she got it from her teacher in Feri) that I’ve found really useful for deciding what I want to be doing.

The idea is that inside of each of us is a cast-iron cauldron, and that every action we take (or don’t take) seasons that cauldron, and that those actions continue to shape future actions (like a cast iron pan does with flavour).

So each time I take an action, I think about what seasoning it’s going to add. Good things, that’s great. Things that are not good, or not the direction I want my cooking of my life to go – I have to *really* want them, because it’s going to mean affecting everything down the road and/or a lot of really annoying elbow grease to clean out and reseason the cauldron.

Thinking about in terms of a fairly long time-span is also very helpful when I’m thinking in terms of something that’s not me – how a choice is going to affect the library I work for, a group I’m involved with, a project.