Younger Voices: RESPONSIBILITY - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the March 2012 Juniper Berry Magazine

Younger Voices: RESPONSIBILITY

Nick Lume

If you're reading this, you must consider the word Responsibility as important as I do.

I decided to write about this to encourage everyone to be more aware of what it means and use it in your daily life. Webster, the original resource for definitions, defines responsibility as: accountability, reliability, trustworthiness. An online dictionary describes it as the ability or authority to act or decide on one's own, without supervision.

It is also a huge factor in our society, empowering people to be capable of great help if used wisely. The way we accept our responsibilities determines how we operate our lives, our government, our schoolwork, our home life, and our personal life. For example, if you have homework, you are obligated to finish that homework. You must manage your responsibility to do that homework in order to do well in school. If you are a parent, responsibility means taking care of the household, a spouse, any children, and many times other family members. Responsibility means sometimes putting others first, before your own needs. Everyone has responsibilities, some are small and some are big. Anyone with a pet has the responsibility to take care of that animal, a task which is done willingly and with much heart. As the captain of the crossing guard team at my school, I have the responsibility, along with several classmates, of being on duty every morning for safety patrol. It means rain or shine, cold or hot, we are out there early to make sure no one crosses at the red light. We take our responsibility seriously, along with our wonderful crossing guard officer, because we are given the authority to do this job.

Responsibility is not only defined by what you must do, it is also about what you must not do. For example, the President sometimes has to keep information hidden because it is the government's responsibility to keep us safe, no matter what it takes. There is a famous quote that says With great power comes great responsibility and we must remember that when we have been assigned authority we have to be careful not to abuse it. Our government assigns responsibility to Congress, the Supreme Court, and the President and they all have part in making and upholding laws for our country. These laws are the floor our nation stands on, and all those elected officials must take their responsibility seriously in order to keep order in the government. Such great power is given, but by our choice, with voting (our responsibility). We must pick who we feel will do the right thing in the interest of the community. I hope you now see the importance of this authority that we give and how important our role is.

We have learned some important issues that we can all be more aware of. What is responsibility? Where is it in our lives? What power does it hold? But most importantly, will you act on what you have just read? I am taking an important step in responsibility by choosing a high school. My fellow eighth graders and I have an important decision to make this month in choosing a high school where we will spend 4 of the most important years of our lives. We have the responsibility of selecting a direction now for our high school years. Of course we can accept only one school, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank the high schools that accepted me and for their generous offers. I hope to fulfill my responsibility by making the right choice and growing in the next four years.