April 6, 2020
Life Advice

It Might Not Be Your Fault, But It’s Your Responsibility (Must Read)

Tell Your Friends

A lot of people hesitate to take responsibility for their problems because they believe that to be responsible for your problems is to also be at fault for your problems.

Responsibility and fault often appear together in our culture. But they’re not the same thing. If I hit
you with my car, I am both at fault and likely legally responsible to compensate you in some way. Even if hitting you with my car was an accident, I am still responsible.

This is the way fault works in
our society: if you fuck up, you’re on the hook for making it right. And it should be that way.

But there are also problems that we aren’t at fault for, yet we are still responsible for them.

For example, if you woke up one day and there was a newborn baby on your doorstep, it would
not be your fault that the baby had been put there, but the baby would now be your responsibility.
You would have to choose what to do.

And whatever you ended up choosing (keeping it, getting rid of it,
ignoring it, feeding it to a pit bull)

There would be problems associated with your choice— and you
would be responsible for those as well

Here’s one way to think about the distinction between the two concepts.

Fault is past tense.
Responsibility is present tense.

Fault results from choices that have already been made. Responsibility results from the choices you’re currently making, every second of every day. You are choosing to
read this.

You are choosing to think about the concepts. You are choosing to accept or reject the concepts.

It may be my fault that you think my ideas and posts are lame, but you are responsible for coming to your own conclusions.

It’s not your fault that I chose to write this sentence, but you are still responsible for choosing to read it (or not).

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