To what are you beholden? Not to obligation. Obligation and responsibility are not the same thing. Joy is your responsibility. Love is your responsibility. Obligation doesn’t seem to carry joy. Obligation is a favor or an exchange. Obligation may be a bartering situation. Obligation is a loosely-written contract. Such contracts often have repercussions. Obligation isn’t generous. As a matter of fact, obligation stints. Obligation is a miser and does not come from the heart. Obligation is a weight. Duty and obligation are not generous words, and, when enacted, they are not giving acts. Duty and obligation can be considered skinflints.
Responsibility and heart ride together. Duty and obligation are more like grimaces or gritted teeth. May you be spared from those who would serve you from a sense of obligation. Free yourself and others from obligation.
Obligation comes from outside you. It is like a rule you’ve heard. Responsibility comes from inside you, and is, therefore, timely. Responsibility is your decision. It is not imposed upon you. You accept it.
A mother comforts her baby. That is the mother’s joy. And so she gives joy to her baby. The mother may not like being awakened at night, but she wants to nurse her baby more than she wants to sleep. She is responsible for her baby, and it is a responsibility that, by nature, she accepts. The mother blesses the baby, and the baby blesses the mother. It is not a trade. It is the will of both mother and baby.
Obligation is heavy-handed. Obligation may incur resentment. Obligation is simply not appreciated in the way that responsibility is. Obligation hangs heavily on your shoulders. Responsibility strengthens your shoulders. It makes you stand taller, straighter. Responsibility is not drudgery. Responsibility is an offering to the altar of life. It is not a formality. Obligation is a leech. Responsibility is an honor.
You may be a prisoner of obligation. Obligation is like being in a chain gang. There are fetters around your ankles.
Responsibility has no handcuffs. Responsibility is a free choice you make. You are responsible to yourself. Taking on responsibility is a gift to yourself, and it bears gifts to others. Being responsible is something you want to take care of. It is only a committed heart that reinforces responsibility. Responsibility is an embrace. Obligation is like a forced march.
There is a fine line between responsibility and obligation. Remember, you are responsible for yourself as well as to another. If you are to treat others as you treat yourself, make sure you treat yourself well. What you may do from a sense of obligation obligates another. When you feel obligated, you may well be obligating another, and then you start measuring and counting what you are owed. You may not want to do this, yet you do it. Give others their freedom, and keep your own freedom of choice intact.
When you obligate another, you deny them their freedom. You may become a dunning debt collector. Even when you don’t say a word about it, you are moiling over debts due you in your mind. You are adding up figures.
Be not an obligator, nor obligated be. Either way, obligation is not wholesome.
Responsibility on the other hand is wholesome. Responsibility is a lightweight. Obligation is a heavyweight. Responsibility is an opportunity. Obligation is a ball and chain. A sense of obligation has been thrown at you. Responsibility, on the other hand, is like carrying a torch at the Olympics. Responsibility is a winner who carries the torch and runs with it.
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