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Responsibility: It’s time to grow up

June 23, 2012


Careless attitude, irresponsible behaviour and sloppy work,’ sometimes parents and teachers use these words to describe us and they really sting.

In spite of your best efforts, sometimes you forget things, do sloppy homework or do not finish your household chores properly which can really irritate your parents, teachers and even friends. Have you ever wondered why some children are labelled ‘responsible and trustworthy’ and others ‘careless and unreliable’?

Responsibility comes in many shapes and guises. Even children have to be responsible in many ways in their daily life. As a sibling, you might be responsible for looking after your younger brothers and sisters. As a student, you are responsible for your school grades and assignments.

As a responsible citizen, you can prove yourself to be environment conscious and not waste electricity or water, and take care not to litter. Responsibility can also mean that you show respect for other people’s feelings and have a strong sense of what is right and wrong.

Here are some helpful tips that will help you be more responsible in your life and more successful too.

Be disciplined

Being disciplined means to have a clear goal in mind regarding what you wish to achieve and then remaining focused on that goal. This helps you to work to the best of your abilities. The goal can be big or something very minor, but the end result has to be that you fulfil your responsibility with flying colours.

For example, if your mother leaves you in charge of your younger sibling, you have to give them your full attention. You have to discipline yourself not to let your attention wander off or leave them unattended while you chat with friends on mobile phone or play computer games.

Similarly, if your teachers are not happy with the quality of your schoolwork, try to discipline your mind to stop getting bored, inattentive or distracted while studying. Once you decide that it is your responsibility to improve your grades (goal), write down all the things that distract you and eliminate them from your study hours (plan).

This could mean switching off your mobile phone, not studying with the television on and finding a quiet place where you can devote your full energy only to your studies for a few hours every day.

Prove yourself trustworthy

Volunteer to do small things around the house and get them done properly. For example, you can take the responsibility of clearing the table after dinner. It takes hardly a few minutes, but it will show your parents that you are becoming conscious of your role in the family. Taking up small tasks at a time, like putting away books, toys or shoes from the living room each evening goes a long way in instilling a sense of responsibility in us.

Keep boredom away

It can sometimes become boring to do the same thing over and over again every day and it is one of the main reasons why responsibilities become burdensome. If you are the sort of person who enjoys fresh challenges but cannot do the mundane things in life, you have to change this habit.

Ever wonder what would happen if the sun decides that it is too boring to rise every morning or set in the evening? It would be the end of life on earth! Or what if your mom thinks it is too boring to cook breakfast, lunch or dinner day in and day out and your father decides it is too monotonous to go to work each day? There would be chaos!

So stop complaining that your present responsibilities are boring or that there is nothing challenging in them. A responsible person proves his worth in any type of work that is entrusted to him even if it is polishing shoes or ironing clothes or turning off the tap after use.

Learn from your mistakes

We all make mistakes in life. This is normal, but how we handle those mistakes defines our character. A responsible person is one who owns up to his role and duties in any situation, and learns from his mistakes. An irresponsible person always tries to shift the blame on someone or something else, and makes the same mistakes over and over again.

If you make a mistake while carrying out a duty, analyse the situation and try to find out what went wrong. Framing vague excuses will only make you appear irresponsible.

Attitude makeover

Changing your attitude towards life and those around you is very important if you wish to be trustworthy and responsible.

“The teacher doesn’t like me so she gave me bad marks”, “I forgot”, “I don’t care”, “My dad will get me a new one” and “So what!” are just a few examples of how children usually shift blame on others or display irresponsible attitude.

In their mind, it is always someone else’s fault and never theirs. You might get away with this attitude while you are young and have loving and indulgent parents to rescue you, but if these habits take strong roots they will affect every area of your present and future life, be it academic, moral, social and professional. So change your attitude and learn to be answerable for your deeds.

You can make a difference

If you are the only one among your friends who throws the litter in bins or switches off lights while leaving the classroom or is careful to turn off taps, know that you are really making a difference. So, do not give up. You might inspire others to follow your example.

Keep your word

If you make a promise to someone, do not let the other person down. For example, if you promise to help a friend with his/her studies, find time to fulfil your promise.

Responsibility is not something that can be forced upon you. You have to acquire it with hard work, concentration and the will to be known as trustworthy and dependable. You might make mistakes on the way but always remember that being responsible, trustworthy and reliable are essential for your future well-being and will help you gain respect and success in life.