Responsibility in a lay man’s view is having a duty to deal with or having control over something or someone. It also means the state or fact of being accountable (or to blame) for something. By inference, you cannot be responsible for something you are not in control of and that is why words such as authority, control, power, leadership, management, influence are used interchangeably with responsibility.
I think one of the major challenges of our generation is that we often time outsource responsibility in order to avoid accountability.
Locally produced movies are also quite unhelpful with their over reliance on supernatural interference. In a lazy bid to cover up the inability to weave a logical plot, or tell a simple didactic story; we do what Yoruba people call (jomo to the answer) and quickly posit that the villain is so because of some uncontrollable stimulus that have taken over his reasoning. Spouses who cheat were bewitched by the strange man or woman.
This juju/jazz angle provides a haven for the writer/storyteller to avoid a simple exploration of character flaws and human failings. At the end of the day, there is eventually no villain because all actions were not committed consciously. But in real life, men & women stray without spiritual or extraterrestrial manipulation. God in his wisdom also ensured that we have the power of choice. I believe the spirit world only helps the weak mind make faster decision that will help in destroying them. There is always a seed for the supernatural to cultivate.
Simple lessons such as a spouse losing the partner because of carelessness or difference in values are ignored. We grandstand and undermine the basic interplay of cause and effect. As a man of faith, if you stay around your weakness; you will compromise your faith. Envy happens, jealousy is real, pride and covetousness are human vices that should be guarded against. Even the bible says so (Galatians 5:19-21 – “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God). Because these are possible slips, they require no mystical influence, please do the work.
Some parents blame children’s’ waywardness on enemies from the village, absolving the child (or themselves) of accountability and further promoting irresponsibility.
Even the way we speak show that we do not like to be accountable. We pass exams but are failed by lecturers. Haba! I have seen mothers make excuses for children who have poor outing in examinations. That lecturer was quite mean (mother dearest!), but someone had a first class with the same lecturer?
A man or woman who has been selfish their entire life gets married and all of a sudden the spouse is the cause of bad behavior. Seriously? Did the spouse do a character surgery on your relative? Or are you admitting that your relative was fickle from the onset and could be manipulated at will? Face the issues; character and values are not suspended so easily I promise you. Address the problem.
The same mindset applies where you go and fight the strange woman with whom your husband is having an affair. Hello? Who made a vow with you? Did she exchange a ring with you? Face your man, yes! the man and the man alone, his influences are immaterial. Deal him clinically.
I have heard a lot of people condemn the Kardashians for how Lamar’s life has turned out and I find that laughable. He was damaged all by himself, like he did bad ALL by himself. $75k dollars for whaaat? Some people said the reality show ruined him, how? Was he forced to appear? Was he not paid? He still earns money even for the spin offs. Come on, choices are choices! “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility”. – Eleanor Roosevelt. The Kardashians do not do drugs! I can also easily say that his father has always done drugs and that is why he has turned out this way; but that is still tantamount to making excuses for him. It is like saying that everyone from a broken home must fail at marriage. Makes no sense! He can turn a new leaf today because “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility”. – Eleanor Roosevelt
What are your influences? Anyone who lives on Telemundo will have issues grappling with the real world. Ask me, it took long to realize that the lean six-pack blue eyed men described in Mìlls and Boons are not in every street corner. As a matter of fact, Rob Lowe was the first blue eyed man I saw and I had almost given up on a childhood delusion by then.
The same way some home videos resolve life challenges by making the female character find (and marry) a rich man. That man becomes a god, he alone sends the siblings abroad, opens a big shop for the mum, establishes the father and catapults the ‘bride’ into a life of opulence. They play down self-development and personal achievement for the other characters, his stupendous wealth solves all problems. Please teach your daughters to study and work hard. The Cinderella/Pretty woman angle is getting blurrier by the day.
We should teach ourselves and our children to take responsibility. For our attitude, choices, actions and the consequences thereof. Make the world a better place through accountability.
— Olufunke Olaofe Isichei