Re: Being Totally Responsible LO3823

Matzdorf, Fides (
Thu, 23 Nov 95 15:38:00 GMT

Replying to LO3812 --

Ivan Blanco wrote:
>I am getting way ahead of myself because there many more messages before
>this one that I haven't read. How do we get people to take
>responsibility? Give it to them!

Basically, I agree. However... I am suspicious about "giving" = "dumping
on". As for example in 'empowering' people by dumping responsibility on
them they never asked for, never wanted, never had a choice about.
('Empowerment' is often the term given to this kind of organizational
abuse... sorry, I'm being polemic, I'm afraid.)

I would like to make a distinction between responsibility as a
metaphysical/spiritual/philosophical construct - in this sense we _are_
totally responsible, on principle, as it were - and the responsibility
that I, as an individual, as _me_ can take on at any given time, within a
specific situational context. The first is an 'objective', 'theoretical'
thing, the second is subjective (or inter-subjective, as it might have to
be negotiated). In other words, whereas on principle I agree that
everybody is totally responsible for themselves, there might be
limitations as to how much of this we are able to _carry_ at any time,
i.e. to cope with psychologically. Our physical and psychical strength is
not always great enough.

Although I don't think that people could completely 'rid themselves' of
responsibility, somehow the notion of total responsibility strikes me as
pitilessly absolute and even inhumane, if taken to its extreme, i.e.
applied without taking into account context and personal capacities.

     /      o  ___ /  ___    ________________________________
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 /       /  /___/  /___   ___/    * * *   true to the spirit, not the letter