Responsibility: That Bitter Taste In Your Mouth?

A train of thought that has already put considerable strain on my conscience, these ideas outline the implications of searching for knowledge and self-actualization. The following outlines the conundrum…

Experience = Knowledge

Often books and lectures help in theory but practice is a whole other realm. With its own variables, real life situations can quickly change and a perfect plan on paper can turn into a disaster. There is no substitution for real life experience, understanding how to cope with last second changes and human emotional variables are invaluable. Obtaining the knowledge you gain through experience is often un-teachable through text alone. This is why you often learn more by simply doing.

Knowledge = Power

Decision makers are the ones with foresight and knowledge. The ones that can make the correct choices are the ones that yield power. The more you know about a subject, the more command you have, letting you have the last and final word. Having that last word draws power. Who can challenge facts and undisputed mastery often obtained through experience?

Power = Responsibility

Spiderman may have said it best, “with great power comes great responsibility.” If we have the power for action when others don’t, who, other than us, will stand up to the world’s injustices? It is by default that those who have the capabilities to act must.

So does Experience = Responsibility?

I am no mathematician but I did pick up on the transitive proper back in high school. It is hard to dispute the notion that experience leads knowledge which then often leads to power but what if we were to take a step further and say that experience calls for responsibility. Does that mean with every growing day, we are held more accountable for our world? Ideally, with constant disorientation, we are continuously educating ourselves through experiential and textbook knowledge. The question arises, does the idea of growing responsibly leave a bitter taste in our mouths? It is often said “ignorance is bliss,” and that you “don’t know what you don’t know,” so if you don’t know what you are missing, do you even miss it? There are two scenarios that come to mind for this situation that I have outlined. Please let me know if you think of more!

1. You knowingly/unknowingly decide to take yourself out of the “burden” of responsibility. You live your life knowing what you know and you make the best of it. Unaware of the impending duty, you sidestep any sort of intellectual growth. Do you live a satisfied life? Are you even held accountable? Am I sensing an “Allegory of the Cave” predicament? I think so.

2. You understand that a fulfilling life comes with responsibility. It is part of the self-actualization process and you observe it. Like it or not, you make the best of it. Are you happier because you know more? Hopefully! Does it open up the overwhelming sense of insignificance? Does it crush your sense of importance in the world? Maybe.

All in all, you have the right to live your life the way you want to. Can you blame people for picking one option for the other? I’m sure you can find a way to but that’s not the point. The point is that with each opportunity to grow you must be courageous enough to undertake it and be ready to deal with the responsibility afterwards. You have one life so you have to make the most of it.

Thoughts? Comments? Emotions?

-Dan

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9 responses to “Responsibility: That Bitter Taste In Your Mouth?”

  1. paul martin says :

    No pain no gain

    • Dan Fonseca says :

      In essence yes Paul. Some people are fine without gaining though… Should we be worried? In such a connected society, should we help/motivate those who don’t? Who knows!

  2. Papi says :

    Clever post. I like how you logically moved from experience to responsibility. So, how do you motivate more people to “grow”, be more “courageous”, and take greater “responsibility”?

    • Dan Fonseca says :

      I really haven’t thought about that to be honest. Hopefully inspire them by example? Community events? Somehow make it a cultural norm to continuously learn with the idea of growing responsibility. I doubt the government can help in that regard. What do you think? I think example is a good one though.

  3. Ashlee Soloman says :

    Dan your “blog” is something you hope to “enlighten” people with, is it not? Not only do I find your posts unrealistic, but at the same time pointless and arbitrary. You go on to say that ” the ones who make correct choices yield power,” which is a contradictory statement. If this is so than ones who make the wrong choice, “make mistakes,” yield the power they are inclined than how does one gain knowledge and experience from ones own mistake/s?, thus making them a more intelligent being than they once were. Next if one does “unknowingly take themselves out of the “burden of responsibility,” how does one know what the true essence of responsibility is? If it is not clearly defined and understood by ones self than one’s unconscious being cannot truly argue or even begin to understand the nature of what responsibility is, thus making “responsibility” a random and self inclined definition of ones pre-determined values/beliefs. Yes, a fulfilling life does obtain the need for responsibility, but in this day in age what doesn’t. Responsibility is just one of the many characteristics in life that a successful and honorable person must have to achieve what many perceive as a “successful,” and “respectful,” lifestyle, but one must not forget that each individual carries their own definition of “successful,” whether or not it be from experience or from ones owns values that were woven from childhood memories which makes each individual in the country we live in different, and “powerful,” in their own way. I find your blog to be random and irrelevant, but unfortunately anyone is inclined to read this, but I surely hope they think twice about what you are preaching, and think to themselves how much of an intellect you claim yourself to be.

    • Dan Fonseca says :

      Ashlee,

      I never claim myself to be an intellect. I am merely writing a blog as a form of expression, in hopes of learning a few things about the world, people, and myself. What I wish for more than anything is for more perspective, which you have done a fantastic job in doing so. Might we strive for a little more of a civil conversation and tone next time? I respect your opinion and I am open to hearing more. You could even write your very own post if you wish. How does that sound?

      -Dan

    • The Apologist says :

      Not only does this blog never claim to be a source of enlightenment, its primary concern, if not goal, is disorientation. I encourage you to read the mission statement and “about” page to reexamine your relationship with this content. Because it seems pretty evident from the rhetorical organization of each post that the author has no intention of giving the reader any answers or wisdom. In fact, he seems pretty busy asking the audience and himself questions rather than preaching. Furthermore, claims that the content is “pointless” or “arbitrary” or “unrealistic” misunderstands the goal of disorientation and ignores the “choose-you-own-adventure (or actualization)” style of this blog. I recommend not reading the posts that don’t serve your exploratory experience of learning by failing to ask you the “relevant” questions pertaining to your fancy. That being said, I like that you took issue with some of the conclusions being drawn but would like to see some more about how you came to conclude otherwise and less about the author.

  4. Daniel Abram says :

    Knowledge = Responsibility is the argument for the existence of Wikileaks.

    • Dan Fonseca says :

      Don’t even get me started Daniel! That is a great way to put it, for any watchdog institution for that matter… Not to mention that we give these governing bodies (the ones Wikileaks combats) the authority to do what they do not the other way around, these are our rights after all.

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