"we do what we must, because we can, for the good of all of us..."
i think i might have talked about my views on responsibility here once or twice before. if not, there's something in my "dead letter file" that just never got posted. it's a topic i think about often. about how sometimes my personal views on responsibility and requirements and being an adult differ slightly from those i know.
i believe that life is made up of choices. i believe that we need to stand by the choices we made. i also believe that once made, you can't just go around changing your mind all willy-nilly, that wouldn't exactly be honorable. if you did that often enough, people would be begin to doubt your word. or your convictions. so if you make choices, stick with them, stick up for them, stand by them, and follow through with them.
that doesn't mean that you can't change your mind down the road. but, personally at least, it does mean that you should have some reason for your flip-flop in attitude or behavior. and i know that it seems lately people have the opinion that it shouldn't matter what others think of how you live your life, you should do you and not worry about them. and that is fine in theory, but if that is how you live your whole life, then people won't think that they can depend upon you when they need to, that you're only out for yourself. and then, when the day comes that you might need to depend upon someone else, there won't be anyone else there.
also, there are times where i believe the appropriate course of action might be counter to your personal wishes, if it means helping out the greater good. sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do, if it means that we can help keep the peace or do good for others or help in a situation that no one else can help in. and it doesn't mean we need to like being selfless in these situations, it just means we need to keep our complaining to ourselves and pitch in once in a while for the greater good. that is, by the way, my personal definition of being an adult, doing things you might not want to do just because it really is the right thing to do. and no, i don't mean you should bend your convictions to help someone, there are lines that need to be drawn, just draw them in pencil in case you ever want to change them down the road.
it is a careful balancing act, though, that we must do, between helping people out and helping ourselves. sometimes the choices are easy, but sometimes to help and put others first means we put ourselves last. i am a fan of this approach, because i believe that people are inherently good, and when down the road you need a hand, those you helped with likely return the favor. it doesn't always happen, and i have been burnt by those that i've helped in the past. there have been a few that have realized my giving nature and asked too much. and i, being me, never said no until it was past the point of stopping.
still, i try to see the good in all, and help out where i can. i might not like it. certain times and in certain cases, i flat out hate it, but i still do what i think i must do because i want to be helpful. or because i know there isn't anyone else that can step in. or, in a larger picture, i am following through on decisions i made ages ago, decisions that i have come to regret immensely, but i stand by my choices and will do what i must do because i feel i have to. because if not me, then who?