“We must never merely…provide people with programs which have little or nothing to do with their own preoccupations, doubts, hopes, and fears….It is not our role to speak to people about our own view of the world, nor to attempt to impose that view on them, but rather to dialogue with the people about their view and ours.”
~Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
You are responsible! Regardless of how others may define “being responsible”, you hold the key to action and words which reflect a living response to situations or people which then canonize your values and ultimately declare who you are.
Paulo Freire is on point. Who has the right to determine, without broad input, what is good for others. Given the salient underpinning of each person’s environment from birth which shape one’s perspective and ego, everyone should consult and undergo a personal deepened examination of oneself before acting to salvage those who act, in their mind, less responsible.
Recent examples of environmental bias involve racism, homophobia, sexism, religious judgment, abuse in its may forms which result in actions that oppress and injure due out of external programs brokered by fear and undergirded bias. How could one call the police on an 11 year old black boy who was innocently delivering papers unless the callers response was colored by racial bias? Or, how can a woman wearing a t-shirt stamped Puerto Rico be verbally abused unless there is a lack of honest responsibility and true caring for others.
Let’s probe further. Is it responsible to use religion and the bible to separate children from parents or deny legal rights only because they are of other nationalities than European? Are you living responsible when you bombast same sex relationships by only imposing your view? Do women and men who are abused by someone in an authority role deserve justice?
What are responsible answers to these questions? What questions do you have that expand the dialogue so that accepted preoccupations, doubts, hopes or fears are challenged?
It is the responsibility of each one to care enough to question and gain knowledge. Once informed dialogue happens with a varied population of stakeholders a blended truth can emerge which heals rather than harm.
You are responsible, take it seriously. Own and accept your role in activating change.