“What transforms this world is — knowledge. Do you see what I mean? Nothing else can change anything in this world. Knowledge alone is capable of transforming the world, while at the same time leaving it exactly as it is. When you look at the world with knowledge, you realize that things are unchangeable and at the same time are constantly being transformed.”
~ Yukio Mishima, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
“It’s been said that the line between childhood and adulthood is crossed when we move from saying ‘It got lost’ to ‘I lost it.’
Indeed, being accountable – and understanding and accepting the role our choices play in the things that happen – are crucial signs of emotional and moral maturity. That’s why responsibility is one of the main pillars of good character.
Many people have been seduced by the Peter Pan philosophy of refusing to grow up and avoiding the burdens implied in being accountable. Yes, responsibility sometimes requires us to do things that are unpleasant or even frightening. It asks us to carry our own weight, prepare and set goals, and exercise the discipline to reach our aspirations.
But the benefits of accepting responsibility far outweigh the short-lived advantages of refusing to do so. No one makes his or her life better by avoiding responsibility. In fact, irresponsibility is a form of self-imposed servitude – to circumstances and to other people.
Responsibility is about our ability to respond to circumstances and to choose the attitudes, actions, and reactions that shape our lives. It is a concept of power that puts us in the driver’s seat. The grand panorama of the potential of our lives can only be appreciated when we begin to be accountable and self-reliant.
Responsible people not only depend on themselves, but show others that they can be depended on. This breeds trust, and trust is a key that opens many doors.
If you want more control over your life and the pleasures, prerogatives, and power of freedom and independence, all you have to do is be responsible.”
“It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. Yet regardless of where they come from, I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them — with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself. Still illiterate, I was ready for them, committed to all the reading I could give them …”
― Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings
“At the hour when our imagination and our ability to associate are at their height, we really no longer read what is printed on the paper but swim in a stream of impulses and inspirations that reach us from what we are reading.” ~ Hermann Hesse
“Youth is not a curse, but a fleeting blessing. Youth enables us to cavort freely unconcerned with the larger issues in life. Aging and the accompanying responsibilities that come with added maturity is what augments, vexes, and then excises us. Maturation represents the accumulation of supplanting changes happening in a person over time including physical, mental, and social growth and development. Growing old gracefully entails submission to biological alterations and witnessing unsettling changes in cultural and societal conventions.”
― Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls