When I visit workplaces and do workshops, coaching, and manager consultations, I find a keen interest in rights. People want to talk about, exercise, and exploit their rights. This is all well and good, but if you’re going to grow, learn, develop, adapt, and optimize your potential and enjoyment of life, rights are a stagnant choice. Rights and responsibilities are not often considered together…consider.
Rights and Responsibilities
We are not happy unless we see ourselves progressing. And of course, progression implies increasing value, contributions, etc.…Rights won’t get you where you want to go. They are necessary, but they are only safeguards, not meant to be hidden behind.
Furthermore, you won’t find purpose or meaning in rights. Imagine if your purpose was to live off the benefits of the State. Wouldn’t it be a more compelling purpose to bear responsibility for your upward movement? Rights and responsibilities… Both are necessary. One more than the other.
Too many people view responsibility only as limiting, something that will pin you in or constrict you. When accepting responsibility will help you discover things for yourself. We need responsibility to facilitate our becoming self-realized individuals. This is the answer to anger, resentment, worldwide conflict, and chaos in the workplace. As Thomas Jefferson said, “if you’re not an educated populous, then democracy won’t work.” Now there’s a hefty call to responsibility. Democracy depends on it!
The willingness to take responsibility is identical to leading your life rather than reacting to life. It’s not always clean, orderly, and neat. Sometimes it’s messy and unorganized. But it’s an intentional choice to live a meaningful life. And that my friend is about faith, courage, and sacrifice, and….you’re effort to get better each day.
To have meaning in your life is better than:
- The new car
- A promotion
- What you want
Relax, you have rights. Now take responsibility and live a meaningful life.
“Life has no meaning except in terms of responsibility.” Reinhold Niebuhr
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