Change the World for the Better by Taking Responsibility for all Challenges in Life

We Must all Feel Responsible for Change Within Ourselves and the World

Let me start this post with a couple of questions:

What does it mean to be responsible in life?

How can one feel responsible in a world filled with nothing but irresponsibility?

Allow me to give the late Spiritual Philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti the opportunity to answer the previous two questions in the following quote,

“And if one sees the truth of this matter, then what is our responsibility? Not only one has a family, wife and children, one has to be responsible for those naturally, but what is your responsibility globally? You understand my question? For the whole of mankind, because you are the mankind, you have your illusions, your images of god, your images of heaven and so on and so on. You have your rituals, you know, the whole business, exactly like the rest of the world, only in different names, they don’t call themselves Christians they call themselves Muslims, or Hindus, or Buddhists, but the pattern is the same. Right?

So when you realise that, what is our responsibility? That is, how do you respond to the challenge? You understand my question? How do you answer? What is your reaction when you feel that you are humanity? This is a challenge – you understand? How do you meet a challenge? If you meet it from your old individual conditioning, your response will naturally be totally inadequate. Right? It will be fragmentary, it will be rather shoddy. So one has to find out what is our response to this great challenge? Does your mind meet it greatly, or with your fears, with your anxieties? You follow? The little concern about yourself?

So the responsibility depends, if I may point out, upon the response to the challenge. If one says this is your responsibility, join – not the League of Nations but some other nations, form a group, do this and do that, that is not an adequate challenge. How do you respond to this challenge psychologically? Inwardly? Is it just a flutter, a romantic appeal? Or something profound that will transform your whole way of looking at life? Then you are no longer British, American, French – you follow? Will you give up all that? Or merely play with the idea that it is a marvelous Utopian concept? Right?

So the responsibility to this challenge depends on you, whether your mind is capable of meeting this enormous human wholeness, this human current.”

Eloquently said, my old boy!

As you can see, there will always be challenges in life that will prompt us to respond the best way we can.  We can either let certain challenges overwhelm us, or we can assume the mantle of responsibility and show courage by dealing with them head on.

The one thing we should not do is to remain ignorant and shirk all responsibilities in our midst, or we may find worse troubles ahead that can lead to great detriment to our lives.

Maybe this is the main reason why we were put on this seemingly unforgiving planet.  Maybe the true purpose of our existence is for our very characters and spirits to be put through their paces with the many trials and tribulations of life.

How one deals with their particular test depends on what permeates through their mind.  At one end of the scale, we have a mind filled with ignorance and that will no doubt attach itself to irresponsibility and fail to deal with any major challenges adequately, but at the other end we have a mind filled with wisdom which is capable of responding successfully to any test life throws at it.

The question is, can we develop the presence of mind, individually and collectively, to use wisdom when it’s called upon, so that we can learn from the experience of dealing with challenges?  If we do decide to tip the scales in favour of wisdom it should immensely help to cultivate growth and improvement for the better throughout.

Challenges of Parenthood

One such responsibility that challenges me presently in life is parenthood.  There is perhaps no greater challenge than bringing up a child to be wise, peaceful and compassionate in a violent nonsensical world.  Obviously it requires you to have a healthy relationship with your child and a whole lot of luck.

What I have learned since my boy was born is that not only am I responsible for him, but at the same time, I must also be responsible for myself.

Why? Because children are an impressionable lot, so I must be careful not to set a bad example. If I am somehow found wanting in my efforts of providing positive guidance to my son, then I can have no complaints if  he becomes irresponsible in his behavior by the time he reaches adulthood.

So having a responsibility in life can be a motivating factor, but can also cause stress through the pressure of being constantly attentive to something.

This however, should not stop you invoking action in overcoming challenges, as well as it giving you a sense of duty to see through every situation to the end – this will more than likely be to your advantage in the long run.

Challenges of Ourselves and the World

However, other than parenthood, another unavoidable challenge that we will face in our life is ironically ourselves.  We seem to think that challenges come at us from only external situations, and if we can somehow conquer these we would have been successful towards our goals.  But we seem to forget that it is usually our own minds that can debilitate us and that cause conflict whenever an obstacle needs to be surmounted.

Hence the imperative need to develop the motivation and determination within ourselves to rise above the difficult challenges that lie ahead, especially in regard the problems that we have unwittingly created to begin with.

We as a whole must feel responsible for a world which has suffered by our hands since history began because of the past folly of wars and ignorance which still continues to haunts us today.  So there is an urgent need for wise cooperation and not bellicose competition to deal with the present problems that humankind now faces.

We seem to have been forever standing on the brink of the precipice.  So trying not to tempt fate, I have no wish for us to fall into the abyss just yet.  Peace and wisdom seem to be the only possible solutions for our salvation.

I now leave you with a enlightening quote that perfectly describes the true meaning of why we all should be responsible in life,

“Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answers to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”

~ Viktor E. Frankl, from the book ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’


  1. I love K’s questions – “How do you respond to this challenge psychologically? Inwardly? Is it just a flutter, a romantic appeal? Or something profound that will transform your whole way of looking at life?”

    To me, that is what responsibility is. That’s what determines the quality of our thoughts, our words and our actions. Observing, understanding and choosing our own responses.

    Them, when we are able to respond with kindness and compassion to ourselves, I think we will have learned how to respond with kindness and compassion toward others.

  2. Jason Cooper says:

    Hi TB,

    Yes, K does provoke us to look at ourselves completely, and as I have intimated many times over on this blog, self-knowledge is the key that holds the many answers about ourselves and relationship with others.

    Thanks you for the insightful comment, and again for that inspirational list of mature guidance for us all to follow.