Don’t Fear Responsibility Because ‘With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility’

responsibility When we hold others responsible, we expect something from, and in order to expect something from others, we must trust and believe in them. We have to believe that they are capable of doing what we expect.

I think we expect something from others for one obvious reason in particular. That is, we ultimately depend on others so we have to expect something from them.

For example, as a child we expect that someone takes good care of us, which leads me to believe that trust and expectations are fundamental to building and maintaining social relationships.

Some people may not have developed a sense of basic trust for reasons I will not address here, but most of us have developed it, fortunately.

So, responsibility is a matter of trust, and it is a human feature that allows us to engage in reciprocal social relationships. It is something we give to others, and it is something we take.

The following quote illustrates why we should embrace responsibility instead of fearing it:

“… Holding one another responsible is the distinctive element in the relation of adult human beings. To hold someone responsible is to regard her as a person–that is to say as a free and equal moral person, capable of acting both rationally and morally. It is therefore to regard her as someone with whom you can enter the kind of relation that is possible only among free and equal rational people; a relational of reciprocity.” (Korsgaard, 1996, p. 189).

Photo: officiallychaz