We are responsible for the consequence of our every thought, act or inaction, decision or indecision. Strike “thought” probably: if thought is unexpressed, it tends to lack in consequence. Where thought expresses in action, it is the action that concerns us.
Since what we do can impact others, we are of course responsible for what we do to others. We did it. They may challenge or question us on our actions, because they see that we did the thing.
Here’s where it breaks down in some. If someone challenges or questions you on something you definitely did, you can deny responsibility. However, the result isn’t that others will say, “Oh, so-and-so was not responsible. They denied responsibility for what they did, so no responsibility attaches to them.” No, the result will be that others will say you are an irresponsible so-and-so.
When it’s something you actually did, and others know this, responsibility for the act attaches to you in all eyes. You are always 100% free to deny it, but this says everything about you, and nothing about the responsibility all others see.
We are not responsible for what others do, only for what we do to them. Or what we have done that affects them. For most people, consequence is a reasonable connection drawn between cause and effect. We hold the primary cause as the main factor. Ripples far out into the pond, links many links down the chain – especially where each link is a sentient being whose response is their own – we don’t tend to trace all the way to the beginning and place blame there. Especially if that incipient action was itself blameless in nature. Some innocent action that only compounded by many later actions and choices of others produced a landslide. Responsibility for the actual landslide increases the closer you are to being its actual cause.
You can typically separate and weigh how much of a given effect was due to you, and how much was due to other factors and actors. But yes, to the degree our action directly effects another, it was our own action. We are responsible for that.
- In a sense. Our decisions effect other peoples lives and our lives aren’t completely about us but a lot of people only think about themselves and think everything is all about them. I think the same thing sometimes but I try to correct my thinking as soon as I realize how selfish I’m being. It doesn’t usually take long but I’d like if I didn’t think that way at all. I’m not saying that I often think that everything is about me but sometimes I can’t help but think that. I guess we all think that some people more often then others