The Weight of Responsibility
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Student Life

The Weight of Responsibility

A burden shared by all

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The Weight of Responsibility
City Gate Keepers

Responsibility, like any amount of weight, is best carried with a companion. When you look at where we, as humans, started from, a huge component of how we came to be so dominant here on Earth is the fact that we have refined our ability to assign and manage responsibilities to those qualified to do so. Proper distribution of duties in different areas of daily life is an art form that we have honed quite well. There are political, economical, social, and religious rites of passage that all require a show of one's capacity for responsibility in order to adopt a higher position of rank in their respective community.

In fact, community and responsibility are two things that go hand in hand. To be a part of an organized unit means that there are tasks that need to be performed for the system to be maintained. If garbage is not routinely collected, our streets would be littered with trash and reek with an unholy fury. When roads are not routinely operated on, the asphalt cracks and break, making a hazardous path out of what was once safe passage. Jobs are founded upon the principle that a person will rise to challenges that come up while on the clock and will give their full effort to address them, and the health of the community that creates and distributes these jobs is determined by how well they are performed.

Now, when someone cannot perform their responsibilities, what happens? Depending on their circumstances, such as illness or simply poor performance, they will either be replaced or given a reprieve to bring themselves back to snuff in order to return and thrive on the job. There are forgiving employers, those willing to work around your needs and bide time until you are at your peak and able to continue working. Inversely, there are some that allow you only a handful of personal issues or slip-ups before the ties are cut and you are out looking for another job.

Think for a moment about all those who found themselves in very severe situations that kept them from their job. Think of a mother with a sick child, or a young man stuck in traffic because of an important task they needed to complete before work, perhaps for a friend or family member. Infinite possibilities arise in our lives that keep us from where we need to be, and, often times, these issues are not (as far as we are humanely capable of knowing) our fault. They are outside forces that for some reason see it fit that our goals are not accomplished. And they often succeed.

We are a society that struggles to maintain a balance that is quite likely impossible. Innumerable tasks litter our lives, and all the while, there are obligations that need to be carried out. Many are imposed upon us, and perhaps the most important are the responsibilities that we have assigned ourselves. Personal goals act as an itch in the small of your back, just out of reach and in need of creative solutions to satisfy. Yet they must do battle with your other assignments, your own bodily needs, the very world around you, and even time itself.

Most of us have had a conversation, at least once, with a person who has listed off their seemingly infinite to-do list, heard them speak with unrestrained irritation about the disproportionate ratio between what they must do and the time they have to do it. There is a remorseful feeling when one must listen in on this plight, because even if you hate that person's guts and are inwardly delighted at their overrunning plate of responsibilities, we all know that frustrating feeling. The world seems to be crashing down on us and we are left to try to catch the pieces as they fall, all the while being chastised for the pieces that hit the ground.

If a person appears jaded by life's trials, constantly putting out objections to the way things are (and you don't have to look far for someone drowning in their own woes) keep in the back of your mind the knowledge that we all carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. This doesn't mean that everyone gets a pass to complain the day away, but rather that taking a step back and remembering how much the weight of all your responsibilities actually amounts to, that you aren't alone with it, and that it's best to pick yourself up as soon as possible before that weight becomes too heavy to even lift off the ground.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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