The Notion Of Responsibility
Most people at one time or other have heard about the virtues of responsibility. Typically this is declared in the idea of being responsible for one's own existence. In other words, the person who is ...
Most people at one time or other have heard about the virtues of responsibility. Typically this is declared in the idea of being responsible for one's own existence. In other words, the person who is seen as being self-reliant is often considered virtuous and an example of exceptional character. The individual who appears reliant upon others, on the other hand, is often condemned. This isn't absolute: it varies across cultures. But it can at least appear to be the norm.
Though individual responsibility is often applauded, there are typically limits to what most people would reasonably assume an individual is responsible for. For example, most people wouldn't hold someone responsible for an act of nature that destroyed property. Neither would the majority of people likely hold on person responsible for a wide scale famine where lives are lost. In other words, there are usually accepted limits to what one is seen as being responsible for.
The other side of personal responsibility is the idea that the individual isn't responsible for anything. This sort of thinking often presumes that people are merely carrying out an existence that was determined for them by a source power. In this way of looking at life, human beings are just moving along a path that was already chosen for them. This type of thinking isn't especially popular in western culture, and would probably be viewed by the majority of people in western cultures as extremist or irresponsible.
Ho'oponopono is one particular perspective that does embrace the idea of personal responsibility. Ho'oponopono is a method used for problem solving and life enhancement. The method of ho'oponopono has its origins in Hawaii, where the natives have used the form for many generations. A core idea behind ho'oponopono is accepting responsibility for harm caused so that conflict between people may be resolved.
In an updated version of ho'oponopono, the connection is not between people but between an individual and a higher power. In this ho'oponopono form, the individual makes amends for problems within their life. An important aspect of this method is being willing to accept complete responsibility for all the events that an individual comes to experience. This perspective doesn't offer any form of exception, and it's believed that the individual him or herself brings about all life experiences.
This core idea of total responsibility for every aspect of life means some will see ho'oponopono as unrealistic or extreme. Ho'oponopono in this way could be viewed as the polar opposite to the idea that humans have no responsibility at all. There is no question that ho'oponopono has its share of critics, but there is an increasingly large number of people who regularly practice ho'oponopono. For these people at least, total responsibility is an acceptable notion.
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Zinn Jeremiah writes about a number of different subjects. Visit hooponopono or I need help for more ho'oponopono resources.