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Definitions - Responsibility / Duty

Tuesday Night Talks -- Attitude -- Newport Beach 10/21/80*
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )

[We join this workshop with a question about responsibility which Dr. Bob once defined to me as the ability to respond. This question also branched out to the difference between responsibility and duty which I had never thought to question.]

(I've got a question on the difference between responsibility. Since we all have choices……….When are we responsible for giving anyone a down attitude.)

Well, I suppose it's whenever you feel justified with; but I don't feel justified, so I don't think I give anybody a downer.

(So there's no responsibility 'cause I don't …….)

I'm only responsible for my own attitude; and I have a duty to other people not to lay a downer on them. That's my own choice--I picked that duty up--nobody laid it on me, I chose it for myself--that is that I don't want to lay something on somebody else.

(We have a choice also…..)

We have a choice to pick out "duties." But I'm "responsible" for me. You can't drink a glass of water for me. You can't eat a sandwich for me. You could cook a beautiful steak and put it in front of me, but you can't eat it for me, is that correct? And you can't go to the bathroom for me. So I'm "responsible" for all that. I'm responsible for how I feel. You can't think for me. You can't act for me--you can't do any of those things.

Now---we pick up duties for other people. That's a free choice. I did it or I did not. I can also lay the "duties" down. Again, it's a free choice, ok? And I don't choose to keep some "duty" for eternity--that's my own choice; and I was responsible for accepting the duty, nobody laid it on me. I did that on my own.

"Duty" and "responsibility" are two different things. Duty is what you would have for whoever you want to do it--your mother, your friends, or both, a job, Life whatever you wanted to. But you can pick it up and lay it down.

Responsible is what you are for yourself whether you like it or not.