50 Days of Women: Responsibility

Obama HatI think the word Responsibility means different things to different people and I’m glad that both my mom and my dad, and my grandparents, taught and instilled in me their version of what responsibility is.
Without looking up the definition and stating it here, I turn to the two questions that run through my mind for myself, and what I would also ask someone who is a responsible person and to the many I see in this world who are not.
What is your responsibility to yourself?
What is your responsibility to your friends, family, pets, or to the world?
My answer to those two questions is the same as my definition of responsibility; the same description of the word that was taught to me by family. Responsibility is constantly asking those two questions of oneself and then taking appropriate action at the appropriate time to do what is needed and called for, for yourself and others.
Even though my father and my grandfather were very responsible men, I’m going to venture to say that the women in their lives helped them, nagged & cajoled them, and patiently taught them to be so. I think, by nature, men are responsible but we probably wouldn’t take on “extra” responsibilities if we didn’t have to.
How many past dorm-mates, room-mates, boyfriends, husbands and sons have the ability to not-see what needs to be done?: The dusting, toilet cleaning, stocking the pantry, or buying dog food before it runs out, or doing our homework before it is due… If we had a room-mate or mom or wife or boyfriend who will do this for us, we would continue to be blind get them to do our homework for us.
Men let emotional issues fester. “I’m sorry.” “I didn’t know how you felt.” “I thought if I didn’t think about it, it would go away.” These are few of the things that will come out of our mouths when it’s too late.
How many new fathers would actually jump in and change any diapers, let alone be in the delivery room, without a little nudging, tantrum or threat from their baby mama? Of course the father who steps up, whether coerced or not, reaps the benefits of actually becoming a better man for it. But I bet most men would stay on the lower steps would it not be for women
Women are not this way. Most women do what needs to be done before it runs out, it goes dry, it gets a late-fee, or it gets smelly or disgusting. She waters it before the leaves fall off, or feeds it before it starves. And that goes for relationships too. Whether it’s keeping her eye on the clock to make sure the kids get to school on time, making sure we have the right kind of beer in the fridge for Sunday football, or demanding a date night once a week to keep her relationship together, she does what she has to do to keep everyone happy or exploding, including herself (hopefully) –before it gets to be too late.
My mom was a master of these things and I’m pretty good too, for a guy. I do what needs to be done, not just when I get around to doing them, but when they need to get done. That means if I have to write two professional blogs, do 4 interviews, do 30 hours as a hairdresser and be at 4 business meetings that week, I will still make sure both dogs get their morning excersise and their teeth brushed, my laundry is done, my bathrooms are clean and my friends and I have time together; even if I have to wake up at 5a.m. for six months in a row! I will still get to the gym to take care of my body and I will continue to reach for my dreams until I don’t have them anymore, and I will make sure I don’t leave more than tiny carbon footprint for the Earth to clean up after I die.
I’m a responsible person and I’m very thankful that I had a mother, a bunch of perfect aunts, two grandmothers, and their men, who taught me how to be responsible. I only wish I had kids to pass-on to them what responiblity means me.


4 thoughts on “50 Days of Women: Responsibility

  1. Why do you think this difference exists between men and women? Do you think these characteristics are innate or a by product of society? This was a well-written and interesting post. Thanks for the nice read.

    1. First of all, thank you. On the differences: I believe we at not only physiologically different but our thinking patterns are not even on the same realities or “planets.” I like those differences and appreciate them. We need each other and learn. I plan to write more on this subject. A lot more–with lots of humor.

      1. I agree with you. Men and women seem to operate at different frequencies, something I think is an important quality in relationships between men and women. I look forward to reading your thoughts on it.

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