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Quotations about Responsibility

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

The two most empowering words in the English language are:  I choose. ~Author unknown, c. 1990s

The one thing I would guess about the Lord of Judgment is that He probably won't blame your parents. ~Robert Brault,

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders. ~Abigail Van Buren

"I must do something" always solves more problems than "Something must be done." ~Author Unknown

A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life. ~James Allen

If you mess up, 'fess up. ~Author Unknown

Work on yourself first, take responsibility for your own progress. ~I Ching

Well, you know what they say:  With great power comes boring responsibilities. ~The Resident, "Last Shot," 2020, written by Marc Halsey  [S3, E15, Devon Pravesh]

"It's a question of discipline," the little prince told me later on. "When you've finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943, translated from French by Richard Howard

Responsibility: A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one's neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Responsibility's like a string we can only see the middle of. Both ends are out of sight. ~William McFee, Casuals of the Sea, 1916

The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs. ~Joan Didion

At some point you just have to let heredity and environment debate themselves while you go off and shape your own life. ~Robert Brault,

Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else. ~Ivern Ball

God has made it easy to reach boys in their early adolescent years if a hard enough and noble enough program is placed before them. Boys do not like to do easy things. There is no fun in jumping over a two-foot ditch. Boys like to do hard things... To shield a boy from hard work, from self-sacrifice, is the temptation into which indulgent parents most easily fall. Self-sacrifice is the law of life. ~Edgar M. Robinson, "The Necessity of Developing the Altruistic in Adolescent Boys," 1910

The great thought, the great concern, the great anxiety of men is to restrict, as much as possible, the limits of their own responsibility. ~Giosué Borsi

We need to restore the full meaning of that old word, duty. It is the other side of rights. ~Pearl Buck

Where is Heaven located? At the post of Duty, forevermore. ~Simeon Carter (1824–1911), Poems and Aphorisms: A Woodman's Musings, 1893

Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off. ~Colin Powell

Ef you take a sword an' dror it,
An' go stick a feller thru,
Guv'ment ain't to answer for it,
God'll send the bill to you.
~James Russell Lowell

Why do children want to grow up? Because they experience their lives as constrained by immaturity and perceive adulthood as a condition of greater freedom and opportunity. But what is there today, in America, that very poor and very rich adolescents want to do but cannot do? Not much: they can "do" drugs, "have" sex, "make" babies, and "get" money (from their parents, crime, or the State). For such adolescents, adulthood becomes synonymous with responsibility rather than liberty. Is it any surprise that they remain adolescents? ~Thomas Szasz

With every civil right there has to be a corresponding civil obligation. ~Edison Haines

When there is hell to pay, it is usually cheaper to pay it than to finance an endless purgatory. ~Robert Brault,

I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty. ~John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

We have the Bill of Rights. What we need is a Bill of Responsibilities. ~Bill Maher

Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. ~Erica Jong

The thorns which I have reap'd are of the tree
I planted; they have torn me, and I bleed.
I should have known what fruit would spring from such a seed.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

When you blame others, you give up your power to change. ~Author Unknown

The ultimate folly is to think that something crucial to your welfare is being taken care of for you. ~Robert Brault,

Even when we know what is right, too often we fail to act. More often we grab greedily for the day, letting tomorrow bring what it will, putting off the unpleasant and unpopular. ~Bernard M. Baruch

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny. ~Albert Ellis

Deal with the consequences of your actions, 'cause life ain't no video game. ~Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo video game) written by Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka, and Toshihiro Kawabata

Duty is what one expects from others. ~Oscar Wilde

For me the diamond dawns are set
In rings of beauty,
And all my ways are dewy wet
With pleasant duty.
~John Townsend Trowbridge

With great rights come great responsibilities. To those whom much has been given, much will be asked (time, talent, and treasure). ~David C. Hill,

ENVIRONMENT  The cause of all the faults you have been unable to shove off on Heredity. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month. ~Theodore Roosevelt

A new position of responsibility will usually show a man to be a far stronger creature than was supposed. ~William James

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. ~Jim Rohn

You are not responsible for the programming you picked up in childhood. However, as an adult, you are one hundred percent responsible for fixing it. ~Ken Keyes, Jr.

Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him. ~Booker T. Washington

Put on your big girl panties and deal with it. ~Author Unknown

God has entrusted me with myself. ~Epictetus

We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until... we have stopped saying "It got lost," and say "I lost it." ~Sidney J. Harris

When others, a man begins to blame
He'll soon find himself alone,
The same.
~Nigel Bloomfield

You can awaken each day to obligations you never chose — or you can decide now to choose them. ~Robert Brault,

It is easy to ignore responsibility when one is only an intermediate link in a chain of action. ~Stanley Milgram

When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself. ~Louis Nizer

Whether or not you have children yourself, you are a parent to the next generation. If we can only stop thinking of children as individual property and think of them as the next generation, then we can realize we all have a role to play. ~Charlotte Davis Kasl, Finding Joy, 1994

Sign over the gates of hell: "Doesn't mean you're a bad person." ~Robert Brault,

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

The commands of democracy are as imperative as its privileges and opportunities are wide and generous. Its compulsion is upon us. ~Woodrow Wilson

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. ~Voltaire

No man was ever endowed with a right without being at the same time saddled with a responsibility. ~Gerald W. Johnson

Those who are unwilling to invest in the future haven't earned one. ~H.W. Lewis, Technological Risk, 1990

Never point a finger where you never lent a hand. ~Robert Brault,

Dr. Miller says we are pessimistic because life seems like a very bad, very screwed-up film. If you ask "What the hell is wrong with the projector?" and go up to the control room, you find it's empty. You are the projectionist, and you should have been up there all the time. ~Colin Wilson

We all participate in weaving the social fabric; we should therefore all participate in patching the fabric when it develops holes — mismatches between old expectations and current realities. ~Anne C. Weisberg, Everything a Working Mother Needs to Know, 1994

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future. ~George Bernard Shaw

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