I don’t have to describe what “Responsibility” is; I assume we all know of it because in some form or other we do have responsibilities. However, many a times we measure our responsibilities in terms of the value of the object we are responsible of. Let us assume that we borrow 2 objects from someone – 1) A jewelry piece like a gold necklace worth 50K and 2) A travel bag worth 1K. If you ask yourself honestly a question – “how much will you be worried if you lose one of those items?”.
I am going to make a generalized statement – “Most people would most worried about the necklace and not care so much about the bag.” And, by care I mean not just loosing it, but also damage, handling it and anything else that may cause harm to the object.
Yesterday, I was presented with something similar. We borrowed a travel bag from a relative and as I planned to come back from USA, I figured out that the charges for me to carry that bag will be around $150. I instantly decided that it was not worth spending that amount of money on ensuring that bag gets back. It was decided that we will talk to the owner of the bag and if need be we will buy another one from India and simply replace it. Today, as I think of it, what would be the reaction is this was the case with a necklace worth 50K. I can safely say it would have been very different.
So why does responsibility changes with the cost of the object. Thinking more deeply into the subject, I realize that it is not just the cost of the object – it is linked to the value of object for the owner. However, many a times we assume the value of the object based on how we value objects in our life. How many times have you considered an anniversary card that you received as just a card and misplaced it and not thinking that it valued so much to the person who gifted you; more so misplaced a present/card that someone else received because you don’t value care of the ones you receive. Do we care enough to ask the person if it is okay to let the thing be ask them of their opinion of the object and its value (not monitory, but importance) for them and then decide how we should make amends if anything should happen to it.
And, I also tie this up to debts to the person. Taking something from someone and not returning it back for whatever reason or returning it back not in its original condition means like borrowing money and not giving it back or giving a partial amount back. It is just being in debt of the person forever however small it is. And all that counts up. So, I finally decided that I am going to spend the money and take the bag back to India and ensure that I am not in anyone’s debt no matter what it costs me. They handed me a bag and I was responsible of getting it back to them. More so, it ensures that I don’t let go of my sense of responsibility no matter how small the object it.