With the intelligence gained about who we are and what we are doing here, comes the feeling of responsibility for others. We know then that we are not independent of others but interlinked to each other.
Some years back, there was an epidemic of tuberculosis in Tamil Nadu in South India. Finally, medicines were found and the epidemic was contained. The officials responsible for eradicating it proudly claimed that they were the ones responsible for curing it. But did they take up the responsibility for the fact that it was allowed to spread all over the town in the first place? No! They were actually responsible for allowing the tuberculosis to spread also, right? They should have prevented it to begin with and not just taken credit for managing the crisis!
Likewise, in our lives we claim responsibility for anything good that happens, but we don’t take responsibility for anything bad that happens. We take up responsibility with discrimination. Only if we take up responsibility for everything that happens in our lives will we start growing. When you start living with the attitude, ‘I am responsible,’ your whole life will change.
If you sit and analyze each and every incident in your life, you will clearly see that you are the only one responsible for incidents in your life. Normally, we pass the responsibility to others and blame them for what has happened in our lives. Understand that those who really wish to blossom should feel directly or indirectly responsible for everything that happens around them.
Swami Vivekananda beautifully says, ‘Take as much responsibility as you can shoulder. The more responsibility you take, the more you expand. Expansion is the only growth. Without expansion, you will contract and die.’ Instead of blaming others, let us look into ourselves and see what we are doing to solve the problem! We are always ready to find fault with others. But how many times do we ourselves do something to address the issue? The more responsibility you take up, the more you grow. Only when you feel responsible for all that is happening around you do you become a leader. Until then you are just a follower.
One of my disciples once asked me, ‘Swamiji, how is it that so much energy constantly flows through you?’ When you feel compassion towards others’ suffering, the whole thing takes the shape of responsibility and expresses itself as energy, that’s all. For that matter, when anyone takes up the responsibility of suffering, they will immediately start radiating energy. How many disciples did Jesus Christ have? Just twelve. How many disciples did Ramakrishna Paramahamsa* have? Only sixteen. Each of these beings had only a small number of disciples, but because they took up responsibility, the movements expanded.
Be very clear, you can stand up only if you feel responsible for people’s growth, only if you feel responsible for uplifting them. When you can say that you will do whatever you can for people, when you stand up with responsibility, you expand and the divine energy flows through you.
Contemplate on this concept so that you can deeply understand it. Can air flow through a blocked bamboo? No! A blocked bamboo will only help carry a corpse to the cremation grounds. That same bamboo will become a flute when it is hollowed out! As long as you are self-centered, you will serve in the same capacity as the blocked bamboo that carries the dead body. When you are free from ego and stand up with responsibility, the expansion happens and you become like the bamboo flute. Then, just as the air that enters the bamboo leaves it as music, so too will the air that enters you flow through you as energy.
source: Living Enlightenment