The True Meaning of Responsibility
by Dr. Danny Recio, PhD, Program Director of The Bridge
German psychiatrist Fritz Perls said “to mature means to take responsibility for your life!” But for him responsibility was not to be seen as an obligation or burden, but as: response-ability or ability to respond. Thus, responsibility is about being able to respond to what life brings and requires of us, instead of avoiding it, putting the blame on someone else, or reacting unhealthily because we lack the skills or abilities to respond. To be responsible is to own our life, to own our happiness, our sadness, our mistakes, our greatness; being responsible means we take charge of solving problems, we ask for help if we don’t have the answers, we take care of those around us, because they need us, and we need them.
At The Bridge, we believe that exposing students to diverse experiences, challenges, and people, helps them tremendously to improve their responsibility, as they learn to not only be “able to respond” to one or a few perspectives, situations or problems, but they learn to respond to many, and not just in one or a few ways, but in a myriad of ways. This increases their confidence that they can navigate effectively whatever environment they choose to participate in after graduation. Thus, responsibility becomes a mantra or guide for our students, an easy point of reference of how to continue maturing, and an assessment tool for whether a particular behavior or situation was handled in a response-able manner.
Out of this core value, we encourage students to show ability to respond to: