Responsibility can be determined in a variety of ways, depending on the views of a person. As far as I am convinced, being responsible means being aware of the future outcomes of your current choices. My responsibility covers my words and actions in my personal sphere, as well as in the sphere of my civil duties, such as voting and preserving the environment. I am responsible for what I say and what I do, for this my free choice, and I can control this; I am not responsible for the reaction of others since I have no control over it.
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To my opinion, being a responsible person is understanding the future impact of your current choices. Responsibility, like any other complicated issue, can be perceived and defined in different ways. Some people believe that they are responsible to God; hence responsibility means obedience to Him and willingness to take either punishment or reward for their actions. Others consider themselves a part of some group or system (family, government, etc.), and for them, to be responsible means to fulfill the duties that they bear as a part of that system or group. For me, being a responsible person means understanding that a choice one makes right now will have implications for future, and considering that fact before undertaking any actions. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility” (Roosevelt 11).
I am utterly convinced that, while I must feel responsible for my own actions and words, the reaction of others to those actions and words is not my responsibility. People perceive things that happen to them in such a variety of ways that there is no possibility for me to predict their reaction; therefore, I cannot be responsible for it. For instance, I am responsible for what I say to a person, and my responsibility is to make my speech clear and polite. However, if that person listened to me absentmindedly and understood me incorrectly because of that, I am not responsible for this. When the specific experience of that person makes my speech offensive to them, it is not my responsibility either, even if I apologize out of politeness or pity.
My responsibility does transcend the borders of my immediate environment such as family or school, for civil duties are included in the things I am responsible for. In fact, civil duties are the kind of things that I take even more seriously than my personal duties. It is my civil duty to make a right choice during elections, and it is more important than the choices related to my personal life since it affects the life of other people, including future generations. As for the latter, it is my responsibility to preserve the environment, consume the resources without wasting them, and take care of nature, thus making the life better for the future people, who will inherit this world.
To conclude, my definition of responsibility is being ready to the future results of the choices you make. I am responsible for my words and actions in both personal and public spheres. However, I am not responsible for the reaction of others to my actions and words since I cannot control it.
Roosevelt, Eleanor. You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for More Fulfilling Life. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1960. Print.