On Responsibility

If I may quote the much-cliched line “with great power comes great responsibility”, it would seem that responsibility belongs to the powerful alone. When you’re not one endowed with superpowers, you’re not expected to save the world from evil monsters and armed thugs. Rather, you’d just let those with “power” handle it. A convenient alibi that even I use.

Yet would the converse “with great responsibility comes great power” prove true? Is being responsible being powerful as well?

My nephew is now 1 year and 2 months old. He’s grown up a lot. Carrying him now makes my arms sore after a while. He’s also beginning to run while squealing babbles. He eats a lot too. He’s also getting handsomer by the day. He’s also touched all of our lives in one way or another. For this post, I’ll be writing how it touched my older brother’s.

When I was young, my older brother wasn’t much of a role model. He was cool, yes, but the different kind of cool that didn’t match up with mine. Given the gap of years we have between us (7 years), I’m not surprised that we had different tastes. We also have different principles in life.

I would say that my older brother’s the easygoing, carefree type. I remember that he’d go and party with his friends during the weekend, miss out on family trips, and do some wagering here and there. He has his good points: he’s confident, fun, and a risk taker. He was not the kind to be serious and patient.

When my nephew was born, a great responsibility was thrust upon my older brother: He had to become a father. Such a great responsibility for a man to bear at his current state. Yet through the days, I saw with my eyes and heard with my ears how my brother learned how to carry that precious little soul, how he learned to wash his clothes and milk bottles, how he learned to babble like a clown, how he learned how to come home a little earlier than the usual, how he learned how to earn a living.

In many ways my brother has changed, and I would say for the better. He’s learning how to be a father, slowly yet surely. Aside from the obvious changes that I’ve written, I’ve noticed how my older brother is slowly becoming an older brother. He asks how I’m doing in school, something that still feels weird to me, yet I welcome anyway. He also asks me for advice regarding the health of my nephew, an action that makes me see his humility. And is he beginning to save money? I’m not very sure about it, yet I’d like to think that he’s starting to tighten his belt nowadays.

William Shakespeare once wrote in Twelfth Night (Act II, Scene V): “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them” From this three paths are evident: the path of the fortunate, the path of the pilgrim, and the path of the unwilling hero. My brother took the third path.

I never saw my older brother as a powerful man until now. Before all this, he was a boy without direction, without cause. Yet as I look at him, I can see now the tremendous power that he holds within himself. He’s slowly becoming more of a man. While he does have his rough edges, those rough edges make him my older brother still.

People shun away responsibility, declaring that they have no power for it. Yet they fail to realize that it is responsibility that makes one powerful, that the exercise of duty makes one capable. Responsibility, then, becomes the path that leads to power, and in our family’s case, the addition of life to years.

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  1. If other people shun responsibility, you, my friend, are a responsibility whore. HAHA. 😛

    I, for one, am of the belief that if responsibility is offered to (or thrust on) you, then you have the capability to do it. But that doesn’t mean you have to become a YES-(wo)man. Responsibility, in some cases, also means saying NO. I think everyone can use a lesson in saying NO. Right? 🙂

    Nobela na naman comment ko. HAHA 🙂 Merry Christmas! 😛

  2. jian5

     /  December 24, 2010

    NOICE. But without responsibility, the world would stop moving would it not? Haha, Merry Christmas!


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