Responsibility Means Response Ability


Responsibility is generally taken to mean having a duty to do something, or being accountable for something.

Osho has an entirely different understanding of the word.

“You don’t even understand the meaning of the word responsibility. Society has been so cunning. It has destroyed our most beautiful words, given them distorted meanings. Ordinarily in your dictionaries responsibility means duty, doing things the way you are expected to do them by your parents, by your teachers, by your priests, by your politicians, by somebody else. Your responsibility is to fulfill the demands made upon you by your elders and your society. If you act accordingly, you are a responsible person;

“if you act on your own – individually – then you are an irresponsible person.

“And your fear is that in acting spontaneously, here and now, there is a danger you may start acting individually. What will happen to your responsibility?

Response is possible only if you are spontaneous

“The fact is that responsibility, the very word, has to be broken into two words. It means response ability. And response is possible only if you are spontaneous, here and now. Response means that your attention, your awareness, your consciousness, are totally here and now, in the present. So whatever happens, you respond with your whole being. It is not a question of being in tune with somebody else, some holy scripture, or some holy idiot. It simply means to be in tune with the present moment.

“This ability to respond is responsibility.”

Osho, Sat-Chit-Anand: Truth-Consciousness-Bliss, Talk #20 

Suggested reading: OSHO: Maturity: The Responsibility of Being Oneself