Re: Responsible People
Sun, 1 Dec 1996 08:30:50 -0500

In a message dated 96-12-01 06:48:23 EST, you write:

<< I have a problem here: "responsibility" as you define it is too
vague a concept to me. There is "response" in responsibility, response to
what? (question or invitation or objection), response to Whom? Those thigns
should be, and can be, "taught" IMHO, and to be and act responsible requires
quite some skills and knowledge to make a proper "response" possible. Any
comments on this viewpoint?

I agree, responsibility is indeed a vague concept to me, as well. I think
that it's one of those concepts that gets defined by each of us as we live
and interact with each other. I use your construction ("response-ability")
quite often when I am leading workshops/retreats in human relations, team
building, and the like. I raise it as a possible norm for us all to live by
and encourage each of us to be as willing as possible to respond to each
other in order to get the feedback we need to learn more about how we can use
our selves more fully and freely. While some may call that "teaching
responsibility", I see it more as helping to mutually create an environment
in which people can learn more about their own senses of responsibility.

The more usual construct, taking accountability for one's actions and living
in such a way as to embody one's values, is something that is so
all-encompassing and so individual that, while I do believe we can help
people learn more about and clarify their own values, it would be
presumptuous for me or anyone to "teach" someone else how to be responsible.

Alan Klein