Response-ability says Perls, is a misused word. It “means the ability to respond: the ability to be alive, to feel, to be sensitive. ” (GTV, 100). It does not mean “obligation. ” It doesn’t mean “duty. ” Duty- what is that anyway? One way or another, it is something that I’ve been directed to do without asking why. I do it automatically, without accepting responsibility for my actions. This was the trait that saw me through the travails in my life where I moved from letting others be responsible for me to taking responsibility for myself.
Perhaps this is what motivated me to pursue my goals without relying on my family resources. I learned early on not to assign the cause of my behavior to my parents or my past or even the wealth of my family. In the process I learned this most important value of responsibility that kept me grounded and helped me in my studies and work. One wonders, therefore, how a seemingly successful writer like Fitzgerald, for all his successes in the literary world, Fitzgerald was a lonely man, who needed to prove a lot to himself.
He is an intense person and his work begins by saying, “Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work — the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside — the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once. There is another sort of blow that comes from within — that you don’t feel until it’s too late to do anything about it, until you realize with finality that in some regard you will never be as good a man again.
” Some say that the reason why it is most difficult to take personal responsibility for mistakes is because one feels threatened and insecure. The word responsibility itself is a misused word. More than postponing automatic assumptions, Perls, the renowned psychologist sees growth as a move from letting others be responsible to taking responsibility for oneself. He often refused to give a person the support he or she was used to getting from others, in order to help that person learn to stand on his or her own two feet.
People in today’s world will be successful if we formulate activities that are engaging as much as they are educational, and if we adapt to new technologies that will help complement interaction. It seems that drive and resilience are especially important when someone sets out to do something no one else has done or when that person faces setbacks and failures. According to Barry Neil Kaufmann (2001, 26), beliefs are conclusions we form (or are taught) about ourselves, other people, events, or objects in the universe.
He states that what distinguishes us from all other creatures is our belief-generating capacity. Simply stated, we freely choose to create, adopt and discard beliefs as our way of taking care of ourselves. He also believes that beliefs are held for what the believer thinks are the best of reasons. Several of these essays dwell on the countryside as a place where one gets the peace that is needed.
One is reminded of Samuel Johnson’s “The Solitude of the Country” where he expounds on the many reasons why people seek refuge in the country. It is a refreshing material that not only tells of the advantages of being alone, with no disturbances in the countryside, but of the check that one needs to do so that that retreat to solitude is not a way of escaping something else, but this must be done to be alone and enjoy one’s company. He pens it succinctly here:
“I know not whether those who thus ambitiously repeat the praises of solitude, have always considered, how much they depreciate mankind by declaring, that whatever is excellent or desirable is to be obtained by departing from them; that the assistance which we may derive from one another, is not equivalent to the evils by which we have to fear; that the kindness of a few is overbalanced by the malice of many; and that the protection of society is too dearly purchased, by encountering its dangers and enduring its oppressions.
” Johnson warns that people must not just retreat to the countryside just to imitate people of prominence who do it because they have their own simple reason that is just to relax. For the key element here is the motivation. What drives a man to do what he does. If it is merely to follow what one has done because he is a man worth emulating, then that is a spurious kind of retreat.
There is nothing noteworthy in an action of that kind. I can describe myself as a very open and approachable personality. I like going out with my friends and it gives me great pleasure to mingle with them most of the time. They say developmentalists have traditionally assumed that the home environment is especially important in shaping personalities. Thus my friends are of almost the same kind of family structure as mine.
Yet I am able to relate with the disagreement zealots who come on too strong, usually to inflate their own egos with bursts of hot air. But since I am approachable most of the time, they are able to relate to me in ways I can easily handle. I am not suggesting that I stand there analyzing conversational gambits in any mechanical manner. But it seems that I am more aware of the patterns most people often use that will improve my contact with them, whether a situation is familiar or threatening.