Responsibilities

There’s a fair number of people whose wellbeing I consider to be my responsibility. I have been told by one or two people that this is an unhealthy attitude. We are each responsible for our own happiness and our own happiness alone, they’ll say, so taking responsibility for somebody else’s wellbeing is particularly unwise.

I do understand that point and, equally, I do think it’s unhealthy when people expect others to be responsible for their own happiness. You have to take responsibility for yourself and you can never, ever demand that of others. Nonetheless, there will still be a few people who do feel responsible for it.

But for me, once I consider a person a friend and I know that they will go out of their way to do things for me/to see me, I feel that I can return that by doing my best to be responsible for their wellbeing. I want all of my friends to have happy and healthy lives, so I do everything I can to ensure that they are. I think it’s healthy and normal to do so.

At the same time, I do appreciate that I have limits. We all have limits. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we can’t do anything to help people. Sometimes we need to accept this. But I don’t think that it’s unhealthy to try our best. Too often people hear something concerning from somebody else, but feel that it is not their business to get involved and try to help, but I genuinely think that the world would be a better place if we all took a little more responsibility for each other’s wellbeing.

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