With great power comes great responsibility.
With great responsibility comes great power. Why don’t more people seek it? Seek responsibility! Help out with the Boy/Girl scouts. Become the librarian for the community band. Join the library board. Run for school board. Do you have a special talent or interest that can benefit your community? Why not contribute? Why not teach a finance class? Why not start a walking club? Why not teach an immersive language course? Why not write a book?
People wait around for someone “More Qualified” to do something because there’s stuff they’d rather do. Like what? You work, and then come home, and not work. We don’t cook anymore because it’s easier to have it at your finger tips in a minute or so in drive through than to get out the pots and pans and actually have some food in the fridge. We don’t join clubs anymore because we can Facebook or tweet or Instagram instead of actually getting together with people. We don’t go to church because we can watch Hallmark movies (and we don’t have to sing!) We can scream our outrage with memes and political rants and then claim “Not My President!” because we didn’t vote for anyone. We also didn’t run for office. “If we don’t take responsibility, we don’t have to take the blame,” we think. Wrong. The responsibility is still there. If we shirk the responsibility off to someone else, it is a choice that we will be judged on. Could you have done a better job? If so, why didn’t you take the job?
Yes, it is stressful. Yes it requires diplomacy. Yes it requires the best of you: your intellect, your energy, your persistence, your ability to solve problems, your relationships with your team, your interest in the project and the fact that you actually care about the outcome.
When my dad was starting to go downhill due to his age, I was the one that shouldered most of the responsibility. I did his finances, I visited him (2 hrs down, 1 hour visit, 2 hrs back), and had to deal with his paranoia and his rants. I had to deal with his hospital stays and his confusion. I had to put the house up for rent. I had to hide his car so he wouldn’t drive. I had to set up his bills and get his taxes to his accountant. I had to work out his will. I was playing the martyr. Then my brothers stepped up. We moved him to a nursing facility that was 10 minutes from my younger brother, and he and my youngest made sure he got good care. They dealt with the worst of the dementia. I am so grateful for that!! But when it was the three of us, no single one felt the weight of the responsibility all the time. I got the house and the plane sold, invested the money, and made sure his bills were paid. My brothers visited him at the facility, took care of the health issues, and made his last days bearable. As a team, we all worked together, and individually, we all learned something from the experience.
When good people seek responsibility to their communities and their families, good things happen. They don’t seek power, but the power they gather as a result of taking responsibility allows them to spread the job around so more people can contribute to the community. When everyone is contributing and not sitting on the sidelines and throwing insults and critiques, things get better!
Don’t be an observer only. Observe, find a niche, and take responsibility! Go and DO SOMETHING!