Saturday, July 2, 2016

To be self-centered is to incapacitate yourself

An amazing paradox. The more self-centered a person is the more incapable they become of carrying out their own responsibilities. This works conversely: seeing to our own responsibilities and to our own duties carries us out of ourselves, and we become aware and sensitive to others.

The failure to carry out one's own responsibilities is not just a failure; it becomes the way of one's life; it is to live irresponsibly. There is one kind of person who lives irresponsibly: the one who is incapacitated. He may be strong - mentally, physically, and seemingly spiritually, but with regards to the most mundane forms of justice, of doing what ought to be done because it is right, he is a total midget.

The world is full to brimming with such people. They conjure up the most fantastic entitlements to themselves but cannot meet the most simple demands of one's ordinary duties.

To live responsibly is to live. The more responsible that a person becomes, the more duties he has to meet; because the more of life that he meets with. A person becomes "just".

Hence another paradox: duties well performed become a kind of love affair - very different from what we imagine when we think of the word "duty".


Itinérante said...

Do you think taking responsibility of people who do not take responsibility is a cross to bear too? like say you work or live with someone like that...
I feel it hurts a lot but it is as well a kind of way to be un-self-centred... like double the portion! No?

Paul Stilwell said...

I guess it depends on what way one is taking responsibility for another, as well as what kind of person he/she is.

Sometimes we're called to make confrontation, which is also a form of being un-self-centered.