Responsibility Quotes


People have forgotten this truth," the fox said. "But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.

The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.

A Game of Thrones

George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones

People like to say love is unconditional, but it's not, and even if it was unconditional, it's still never free. There's always an expectation attached. They always want something in return. Like they want you to be happy or whatever and that makes you automatically responsible for their happiness because they won't be happy unless you are ... I just don't want that responsibility.

You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.

To pretend, I actually do the thing: I have therefore only pretended to pretend.

Action    Deeds    Game    Lying    Playing    Responsibility

If you hang out with chickens, you're going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you're going to fly.

I'm not much but I'm all I have.

The price of greatness is responsibility.

What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.

To say you have no choice is to relieve yourself of responsibility.

Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.

Everyone’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s really an easy way: Stop participating in it.

Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.

On Self-Respect

Joan Didion

On Self-Respect

Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.

There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there - good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory... Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea - God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.

If you build the guts to do something, anything, then you better save enough to face the consequences.

This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.

Wintersmith

Terry Pratchett

Wintersmith

Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our actions, everything we have done, and have not done.

Requiem for a Dream

Hubert Selby Jr.

Requiem for a Dream

...the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword."
"...a ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is.

A Game of Thrones

George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones

Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.
[News conference, April 21 1961]

You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.

A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.

On Liberty

John Stuart Mill

On Liberty

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

Man and Superman

George Bernard Shaw

Man and Superman

In dreams begin responsibilities.

Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.

Like crying wolf, if you keep looking for sympathy as a justification for your actions, you will someday be left standing alone when you really need help.

Actions    Alarm    Complaining    Crying    Crying wolf    Excuses    False    False alarm    Falsehood    Justification    Loneliness    Responsibility    Sympathy    Whining    Wolf    Wolves

The function of freedom is to free someone else.

Them as can do has to do for them as can't. And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.

The Wee Free Men

Terry Pratchett

The Wee Free Men

Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.

On Leadership

Colin Powell

And a step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.

Player Piano

Kurt Vonnegut

Player Piano

[F]reedom isn't free. It shouldn't be a bragging point that "Oh, I don't get involved in politics," as if that makes you somehow cleaner. No, that makes you derelict of duty in a republic. Liars and panderers in government would have a much harder time of it if so many people didn't insist on their right to remain ignorant and blindly agreeable.

Black and Third World people are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade their responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.

I feel I owe you another explanation Harry," said Dumbledore hesitantly. "You may, perhaps, wondered why I never chose you as a prefect? I must confess...that I rather thought...you had enough responsibility to be going on with."
Harry looked up at him and saw a tear trickling down Dumbledore's face into his long silver beard.

Choices may be unbelievably hard but they're never impossible. To say you have no choice is to release yourself from responsibility and that's not how a person with integrity acts.

Learn to distinguish the difference between errors of knowledge and breaches of morality. An error of knowledge is not a moral flaw, provided you are willing to correct it; only a mystic would judge human beings by the standard of an impossible, automatic omniscience. But a breach of morality is the conscious choice of an action you know to be evil, or a willful evasion of knowledge, a suspension of sight and of thought. That which you do not know, is not a moral charge against you; but that which you refuse to know, is an account of infamy growing in your soul. Make every allowance for errors of knowledge; do not forgive or accept any break of morality.

The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn't the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.

you don't have to worry about burning bridges, if you're building your own

To me, history ought to be a source of pleasure. It isn't just part of our civic responsibility. To me, it's an enlargement of the experience of being alive, just the way literature or art or music is."
[
The Title Always Comes Last
; NEH 2003 Jefferson Lecturer interview profile]

It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one's acts.

We are free to choose our paths, but we can't choose the consequences that come with them.

Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.

So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you the opportunity to define your own reality. You can say: This did happen to me. It was that bad. It was the fault & responsibility of the adult. I was—and am—innocent. The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis

It’s time to care; it’s time to take responsibility; it’s time to lead; it’s time for a change; it’s time to be true to our greatest self; it’s time to stop blaming others.

Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.

Responsibility I believe accrues through privilege. People like you and me have an unbelievable amount of privilege and therefore we have a huge amount of responsibility. We live in free societies where we are not afraid of the police; we have extraordinary wealth available to us by global standards. If you have those things, then you have the kind of responsibility that a person does not have if he or she is slaving seventy hours a week to put food on the table; a responsibility at the very least to inform yourself about power. Beyond that, it is a question of whether you believe in moral certainties or not.

What is an anarchist? One who, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice.

If we are worried about the future, then we must look today at the upbringing of children.

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