Responsibility is often viewed as an obligation to a task or duty. That responsibility can take the form of many things like taking out the trash, showing up to work, or guarding the nuclear launch codes. Directly tied to responsibilities are consequences. Consequences, despite their negative connotation, can be good or bad. Failure to meet responsibilities can lead to stinky homes, unemployment, or- well, let’s just avoid nuclear annihilation all together. But just like consequences, responsibilities are not simple.
The word ‘responsibility’ is a complex word that can be both a positive and a negative. One can exhibit responsibility by any number of things. Examples include walking the dog, paying bills on time, or proper containment of a plutonium-239 reactor. Responsibilities can be good and can be a sign of trust and of adulthood. But, when life goes awry we must take responsibility for our actions. Even when we try to be the most responsible, irresponsibility can occur. It is conceivable to do everything right, yet still make mistakes. Well-intentioned ideas may not pan out.
As an enterprising young man, I like to think of myself as a responsible individual. I enjoy being entrusted with responsibility, and I feel like most people - in some way or another - also feel the same. It makes me warm to feel entrusted with a job or a project, and even warmer to see a positive resolution. So, whenever things do not turn out, I feel especially bad. Taking responsibility for projects that do not yield as expected was one of the most difficult lessons to learn. My personal perfectionistic and professional nature did not allow for tasks to fail or any result other than as planned. And maybe there are people out in the world who do not fear failure as I, but I do not know any. It is when the outcome is failure that I find it is most useful to take responsibility. True character is shown in those moments when responsibility is not a positive but a negative.
If the ability to take responsibility for one’s action is indicative of good character, then with great responsibility comes great power.
Liam Larson is a 19-year-old college student at Oklahoma Baptist University pursuing a degree in Music Composition with Honors. This Shawnee-native has been involved with Band and Music Theatre at SHS and OBU. After college, he hopes to find a career writing music. A personal goal is always finding the humor in life.