Fault Vs Responsibility

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30 Jul 2018 15:14 - 30 Jul 2018 15:23 #324576 by Goken
Goken created the topic: Fault Vs Responsibility
One personality trait that I find to be highly important, not just for a Jedi but for anyone, is a sense of personal responsibility. What I frequently see get in the way of that is a desire to not be at fault or be blamed for something that seems beyond your control. This has led me to think a lot about the nature of fault vs responsibility and I was intrested in your thoughts on the difference between the two.
Last Edit: 30 Jul 2018 15:23 by Goken. Reason: Spelling errors
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30 Jul 2018 15:22 #324578 by Goken
Goken replied the topic: Fault Vs Responsibility
I think the simplest way for me to describe my feelings is by using the analogy of a janitor.

When a janitor is cleaning up it is rarely the janitors fault that its messy. Someone else made that mess, not him or her.

However, it is 100% that janitor's responsibility to clean it up. That's the job they are paid to do.

Here's a different metaphor. Even if you took excellent care of your car things can happen to it that aren't your fault. Stuff gets old and breaks, deer jump out of blind spots, etc. It's not your fault.

It is, however, your responsibility to get the car fixed. The deer wont fix it. The pot hole wont. You have to do it. And by do it I don't necessarily mean actively fix it, but getting it fixed. Call the tow truck and mechanic and whatnot.

Hopefully those made sense.
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30 Jul 2018 15:33 #324581 by Arisaig
Arisaig replied the topic: Fault Vs Responsibility
My mother is learning Spanish, and there is some interesting comparisons to how we say things in English that make you see how we place fault rather than responsibility in certain situations.

Example, if someone breaks their arm, we say (in English) "S/he broke his/her arm". We put the blame of breaking their arm on the person that was injured, as if they went out of their way to break their arm.

In Spanish (translated to English) they instead say "His/her arm broke." That removes fault on the person that was injured.

Just thought that a fun lil tidbit to add to this :)

But as for how I view fault vs responsibility... I saw a video a while ago talking about responsibility. Responsibility being described as your ability to respond. If it is within your ability to respond, it is your responsibility to respond with all your ability. And that is how I view it. I have a responsibility to care for my friends and family, I have a responsibility to myself to ensure I continue to gain more ability, and thus more responsibility, to care for everyone I meet, ect.

Fault, I find, is the laying of responsibility onto another, passing it off rather than seizing it for oneself. But, if one finds they've put the fault onto another, that they've actually found fault in themselves, that fault being their inability in that moment to claim responsibility for something they did.

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30 Jul 2018 17:10 #324592 by thomaswfaulkner
thomaswfaulkner replied the topic: Fault Vs Responsibility
I love the Mr. Rogers approach to looking deeper at our way of being. We have that responsibility to provide compassion to, not only one another, but to ourselves as well. We often go to great lengths to either assign or avoid blaming and shaming. Guilt can be a powerful motivator to acknowledge and accept our own responsibility to care for ourselves, but fault finding is rather conducive of negativity.

The example that you provided with the car is a brilliant example. I use a similar story with the people I serve in the community when it comes to accepting what has happened and moving forward with our own resolve to the issue. In my situation, I had the thought that I could make it home with the "low oil" warning light on in my dash. The longest it had been on was maybe a week or so, and I thought that since it had just come on that I would be alright. I got all but two miles away from the house and kaboom goes the motor.

Now, I could have definitely resorted to blaming myself for that situation, but through it all, I would have felt bad about what had happened and then had to deal with resolving the issue. I was able to laugh it off within the next hour or so, because luckily it had happened on a Friday and there was at least some humor in it. Handling the situation in a non-biased situation helped me work through the shame I would have had to experience if I would have resorted to picking apart all of my failures and flaws to conduct that preventative maintenance on the vehicle.

At some point though, I do think a healthy bit of reflecting on what we have done is essential to make sure things like that do not happen again. Was I at fault? Yes, but I feel the point of looking at it in a healthy manner to learn from that experience helped me to get a clearer understanding of what I needed to do in the future to avoid situations like that from happening again.

I guess you can think of it sort of like acknowledging the actions that were set in place. The doer is much less important than the deed done at that particular moment. I don't think anyone is a habitual failure, but with shame it can feel that way at times. Removing ourselves from that action for the moment to learn what we could do different in the future, I think, is a better solution to assigning fault.

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30 Jul 2018 18:24 #324601 by Goken
Goken replied the topic: Fault Vs Responsibility
@arisaig I have a friend who is an avid linguist and we love talking about the peculiarities of languages like that. That particular one hadn't occurred to me, but it is very true. I also am pretty sure I saw that same video. I do love the description of responsibility as the ability to respond. It feels very super hero to me, very Spiderman. The only thing I don't like about it is that it provides an out if you don't know how to respond. In some cases even if you don't know you to, it's still your responsibility to. Luckily you have the ability to learn how to respond.

@thomaswfaulkner. I did leave out the part of responsibility where you learn how to avoid it happening again, or even the first time. There are things which, if they happen, aren't your fault but it can be your responsibility to try to keep them from happening.

Loving the responses so far guys. I'm planning to do a more in depth write up of my views in my journal but I'm glad I made it a discussion as well.
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30 Jul 2018 18:33 #324603 by Senan
Senan replied the topic: Fault Vs Responsibility
I look at fault versus responsibility like this. It doesn't matter who's fault something is if it is your responsibility to fix it. For example, it's not my fault that my ex cheated on me and broke my heart so many years ago. She made the decision to be dishonest and to act the way she did. It was then my responsibility to determine how I was going to react to that pain and turn it into something positive in order to move on from that in a healthy way. It isn't my fault that my brother struggles with alcoholism, but as the Godfather of his children, it is my responsibility to look after his children while he seeks treatment. I can blame him for their suffering, but that doesn't contribute anything to their happiness or mine. Instead, I choose to take responsibility for making those girl's lives as normal as possible until he can come back healthy. Accepting these responsibilities is not placing blame or accepting the guilt ourselves. Instead, it is recognizing that we have the power to fix something broken and as Jedi it is our responsibility to do so in order to promote happiness and peace.

It is really frustrating when something is someone else's fault, but your responsibility to fix. It would be great if they had to suffer the consequences and feel the aggravation and pain that we might experience because of their actions, but it just doesn't work that way. It would be more fair if they had to take or share the responsibility in some way, but fault and responsibility aren't related. We may believe that someone at fault should bare some responsibility for fixing the situation they caused, but simply believing it doesn't somehow make the two connected. My ex wasn't suddenly responsible for finding me a new girlfriend or even apologizing for that matter. She should have, but she didn't. She went on with her life with the other guy and didn't give me another thought. We know when another person is at fault, but anger and blame will not make your responsibility to fix the situation go away. It will only prolong the process and create more grief.

Ultimately, our peace of mind, well-being and happiness is our responsibility. Finding fault and placing blame is simply a way of abdicating that responsibility and remaining a victim rather than fixing the problem and moving forward. Pointing fingers and finding fault might be a great way to create a sense of vindication or to shame someone else, but does that really benefit you in any way?

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