It’s an inescapable fact that you can’t avoid responsibility forever. No matter who we are, you have responsibilities, no adult capable of taking care of herself or himself lives responsibility free. Not a one. Yet we still hear people talk about living a life without obligations.
Remember the old, old saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch? While most of us agree that this is true, there are still some who think they can get along without having to take responsibility for themselves or others.
Let’s take a look at 5 of the Myths people believe about living responsibility free.
#1 I’m Single
“I don’t have any romantic entanglements,” you tell me. “I don’t have a spouse or a lover, so I’m free of all that. I don’t have to report in, and I am not responsible to anyone.“
I know I said that being single is awesome, but being single doesn’t mean being responsibility free. Just because you aren’t married, and don’t have a significant other, that doesn’t mean that you have no responsibilities. Even if you are totally alone in this world, and maybe especially if you are alone, you still are responsible for paying the rent, making sure that you have clean clothes to wear and that you have something to eat occasionally.
You may not have to share a home, a bedroom, or call someone when you’re running late but I doubt that there is really nobody at all who would check on you once in a while and make sure that the mysterious odor seeping under your door is from the garbage in the kitchen.
#2 I Have No Kids
So you have no children who live with you and depend on you to care for them and raise them to become functioning adults. Even so, you probably have siblings with children, cousins, and friends who have children. You may not be responsible for their daily care and feeding but you are responsible for setting a good example of what an adult should be.
I may be single, but I still have responsibilities to my nieces and nephews. I may not be their mother, but I do take care of them sometimes, and when I do, I am completely responsible for their physical well being as well as their emotional and intellectual well being.
#3 I Can Do Anything I Want
I have no ties. I can travel whenever I want and nobody is going to stop me.
Really? If you don’t have a partner, a roommate, or children, it probably is easier to pack up and go. On the other hand, do you have a job? Do you have an apartment? If nothing else, you have to put your mail on hold. Let your landlord know you’re leaving so it doesn’t seem that you’ve abandoned your apartment, or if you own your house, get someone to check up on it occasionally while you’re gone.
Only the super-rich can go where they want when they want. And even they have to tell the servants that they’re making a trip.
#4 I Work For Myself
Are you telling me that you are the head of a company or that you are self-employed? Either way, you certainly are not responsibility free. Far from it! If you are the head of a company, you are responsible for the company, its customers, and its employees. Perhaps you have employees to take care of all that, but who is going to take care of them. Someone has to and, if it’s your business, guess what? That person is you.
If you are self-employed, you have even more responsibilities even if they are mostly for you. You have to do your work, of course, but you also have to be working constantly to find that next job, that next client. Oh, and unless you are very lucky, you are also responsible to pay for health insurance and everything that isn’t covered by that insurance.
Healthcare may not seem like a big deal to you if, like me, you are young and healthy. But being a contractor/consultant usually means that if you’re sick you don’t get paid. If you want to take a vacation, you don’t get paid. You get the idea.
#5 I Live with My Parents
Do you? Are you there because you can’t afford to have your own home and life or are you there because one or both of your parents are elderly and need you to take care of them. If you are living with your parents because they were kind enough to take you in, you need to follow the rules. No matter how grown up you are, you have to respect their wishes.
And if you live there because you have to take care of them? You are hardly without any responsibility.
The Truth About Living Responsibility Free:
There isn’t an adult on the planet that doesn’t have some responsibility. Even if you are incredibly rich, you still have to pay bills and your bills are likely to make the average person’s bills look like penny candy by comparison. Just because you are a 20-something with no partner and no children, that doesn’t mean you can live responsibility free.
The key to this whole article is that, no matter who you are, you are responsible for something. Even if you are responsible to nobody else, you are responsible for you.
Do you have a job? Clearly any job comes with certain responsibilities to your employer. They are expecting you to do something (or else, why would they pay you?) and if you don’t do it, your new responsibility will be looking for a new job.
No children? Do you have parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles? Even if they don’t have to depend on you, you still have the responsibility to call them once in a while, to visit, or to at least keep in touch on Social Media.
The idea of being responsibility free is a myth, a fairy story that people tell themselves. I think it’s time that we all admit that we have responsibilities. I think we all need to wake up and realize that there is no such thing as a responsibility free life. I mean it! Put the idea to rest.
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