When we were kids, it was our job to make sure we ate and moved enough to grow big and strong, avoided stress, and fostered good traits and habits for the future.
The parents were responsible for ensuring that we did our job, preferably without turning to brute force and dominance.
I think of what a friend of mine once said on this.
Do you think hitting children is okay?
My dad hit me when I deserved it and I turned out alright, so yes I think it is okay.
If you think it is okay, then you didn't turn out alright.
The adult form of ourselves has to pay the consequences of our childhood responsibilities not being met.
Flash forward, now those children are adults, and they're reading this article.
What has changed? Well, the parents have been replaced by our adult self. Now it is our job to make sure we take care of our own tasks.
What is your responsibility now? What's you're job? Certainly society gives us a wide range of abstract nonsense that is "our responsibility", but what are our physically grounded core responsibilities.
After much thought, I don't think they've changed.
- Physical. We have to take some basic care of our bodies, keeping them clean, moving them, feeding them a range of nutrients.
- Emotional. We have to limit and mitigate stress in our lives.
- Future self. We have to maintain our habits and presence of mind, making sure we are creating a better world for our future selves.
I was surprised when I discovered this. Who would think that all the things we want for our children are actually what we should want for ourselves? And how often do we still fight against addressing these basic responsibilities?
If we don't take care of ourselves we are being morally irresponsible. I really don't think highly of the concept of morality —once again the details of this are for another article— but if you don't take care of yourself, you cannot take as much care of others. And if things slide too far, you will start hurting others!
Sometimes, we are all still children in a lot of ways, apparently this includes our core personal responsibilities.