Putting the ‘response’ back in ‘responsibility’
Albert Einstein’s famous quotation, “Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized,” depicts the essence of what all men require–Respect.
We are selfish creatures. We act irrationally and without thorough thought. We act out like spoiled children when we are not pleased by something.
Riots break out on the streets of London. Rebels rise up in Libya. This very country defied rule and tradition to break away from its origins and create anew.
Nevertheless, we are still creatures made to honor, capable of honor, of action, and of prestige.
Ayn Rand, a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter known for her two best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism went on to say:
In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title.
Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.
Notice that not once did Einstein or Rand mention man’s obligation to his community. Both focused on man’s loyalty to himself–to mankind’s desires and need for existence.
Nature has repeatedly proven that only those willing to fight for their own lives will survive, so the time has come for humankind to take responsibility for his own actions, to direct his attention, correction, and direction within himself.
Crushed beneath the loads of the past and surrounded by the small section of the world they were born into, many Americans forget that only way through barriers is not to act like they don’t exist, but to break through them– to put their goals above the attitude of their society, and apply all they are to reach them.
If the United States is to be expected to rise above such weight, and become a nation defined once again by its prospects for a wholesome and opportunistic life, each man needs to be held to his actions, words, and promises.
“But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD,” is one of the most famous Bible quotes, taken out of the text of the Book of Joshua. This same attitude is crucial to survival, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Knowing you are responsible to your own life, and the lives of your family, will serve as the catalyst for various life choices that will benefit first the person involved, then his family, and lastly, his community.