Is being responsible irresponsible?

Responsible as a toxic word

The word responsible can be fuzzy, ill-defined, or have contradictory meanings. Consequently, its use is often toxic. I avoid using this word unless I am clear about my meaning and I know the listener will be hearing the same meaning that I intend.

 

A fundamental responsibility can veto a superficial "responsibility"

Let me give you an example illustrated with a recent conversation I had with a friend.

My friend said that she thought it would be irresponsible to break a promise that she made both to herself and to her colleague. 

 

Will you have Now-Next integrity if you keep this promise?

I asked her, "Yes, we commonly think that breaking one's promise is irresponsible. But have you considered this? When you made that promise, did you consult with your Now to ensure that she would likely to be on board when it was time to fulfill on the promise?" She admitted that she did not. 

I replied, "Given that, your first priority now is to either find a way to create that integrity in the process of keeping that promise or to choose courage to change or break that promise so that they're in Now-Next integrity."​

Will you have Oneself-Others integrity if you keep this promise?

I also asked her, "In making that promise, did you consult with your Oneself to ensure that, in the process of keeping that promise you would be taking care of yourself and not sacrificing yourself for anyone else?" She confessed she did not.

I told her, "I know you may feel between a rock and a hard place right now. But unless you find a way to have both Now-Next integrity and Oneself-Others integrity in the process of keeping this promise, then choosing courage to revoke your promise could be the responsible thing to do (in the deepest meaning of the word responsible). Does this fit for you?" She admitted that it did.

Keeping your fundamental responsibility in place from the get-go

Of course, the smart way to keep your responsibility and integrity in place is to create the consistent habit of consulting with your Now and your Oneself, not just following blindly what your Next and Others (including both Emage and Service) want. This habit is most important when making promises or plans, or setting up goals and projects.

Study and refer to the NNI toolkit for creating and maintaining Now-Next integrity. Study and refer to the OOI toolkit for creating and maintaining Oneself-Others integrity.

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