There are challenges in deciphering what is my responsibility and what is the responsibility of others.
Sure, I know that I am responsible to groom myself, pay my own bills, and study if I plan to make good grades in school. But, what about those things like trash on the path that I did not put there. Or, someone that suffers and cries out. Perhaps, someone needs help with legal issues that I am well aware of because I spent time helping another in those same areas. Do I have a responsibility to help?
Over time, I have come to learn and to recite daily the Serenity Prayer “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I have to ask myself, especially in situations that look bleak, “is it my responsibility to help?” I have to be honesty with myself; am I just being noisy, or do I really have a sincere desire to help, and most importantly, is my help welcomed.
Unquestionable, I am not responsible to pick up others trash, but as an act of kindness, I do so. On the other hand, what can be questionable is “did someone ask me to help, or am I forcing myself into their business?” Granted, children and elderly who are being abused I will take responsibility to help, regardless. Otherwise, I have to be able to ask permission if someone wants my help. By doing so, I am preventing myself from disappointment when I try to help another and they retaliate. When they do so, this is reason for me to become negative.
As a result, I become accusatory, and eventually my behavior can turn inward towards myself. In other words, I can come up with every excuse in the book as to why I was treated wrongly by another. Then poor me, poor me, pour me another drink. Misery loves company. I need to stay in my lane. This does not mean that I do not have the responsibility to help others. But, I need to know what my responsibility is. Wisdom is learned over time. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy (James 3:17 NRSV). How do you handle responsibility?