I first encountered the notion of responsibility when I was six years old. I was told that taking out the trash was my responsibility. It meant that, if the trash was not taken out by the end of a day, I was the one to blame. Since then, my understanding of responsibility has broadened. I realized that my actions might have negative consequences. Whether I considered the possibility of such consequences, did not think about them, or could not even imagine they would occur, it is my fault.
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That is why I should think about consequences when taking any action. To me, this is the concept of responsibility. In its core, it is actually similar to how I perceived it when I was six: if something goes wrong which I am responsible for, I am the one to blame and the one to fix it. Today, I recognize three areas of responsibility in my life: interpersonal relationships, school, and society.
Interpersonal relationships responsibility is about the way I behave with my family and friends. With people who are close to me, I feel responsible for justifying their trust and not harming or hurting them. I am grateful to my family for what I have become and where I am in my life. I feel the duty to serve my family’s well-being by being a good person and not letting them down. It is similar with my friends. Some say that friends are your family that you have chosen.
I take my friends seriously. I believe I must help them when they need my help and I cannot just disregard or ignore them, especially when they are going through a hard time. This is the responsibility of being a friend.
Another area of my responsibility is being a good student and, in the future, a good professional. I acknowledge that much effort was made by me and my family for me to have an opportunity to study and learn. When I see people who have an opportunity to study but disregard it by not taking their studies seriously, I get upset. I think it is important for a person to learn in order to become a good professional and contribute to the well-being of the society. That is why I feel responsible for studying hard. This feeling of responsibility is manifested in day-to-day activities like doing my homework, sacrificing leisure time to studies, and following my courses’ instructions.
Finally, I believe that an important part of being a responsible person is being a responsible citizen. It includes being aware of the issues that one’s society faces, speaking out, and fulfilling civic duties. I think that it is crucial for democracy that citizens participate in the discussion on the challenges of their society. If I find out that someone is persecuted, discriminated, or otherwise subjected to unjust treatment, I feel responsible for condemning it out loud.
This is how justice in a society is ensured and promoted—by having people with the sense of civic responsibility. I also acknowledge my duty to vote. I think it is important because many people died in the past for the right to vote, and their sacrifice should not be forgotten.
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Bob Dylan once said, “I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom” (“Every Mind Polluting Word” 868). I strongly agree and think that true freedom is linked to responsibility. By being responsible with my friends and family, in my studies and work, and as a citizen, I think I will be a freer and more just person.
Every Mind Polluting Word: Assorted Bob Dylan Utterances: A Collection of Speeches, Interviews, Press Conferences, etc. 2006. Web.