Life or death: is this how we measure responsibility?

Life or death: is this how we measure responsibility?

Life or death: is this how we measure responsibility?

Oooh, you’re an air traffic controller. Wow, that’s the most stressful job in the world isn’t it?

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that, I’d never need to work again! Seriously, 9 times out of 10 this is the response I get, and on a basic level they’re right. People have this opinion or perception of the job because they associate stress with a high level of responsibility. Controllers are in the not so enviable position of being in charge of planes filled with people and fuel and if you stuff it up, things can go very bad very quickly. It is responsible to not kill or endanger people, right?

There are many jobs that require a high level of this kind of responsibility. On the aviation theme, there is also the pilot. While the controller has the big picture overview of the whereabouts of the planes in the sky, the pilot is the real one in charge and can actually do what she wants/needs regardless of air traffic control. That’s a pretty important job right? You don’t want to muck that up.

What about surgeons? Or all doctors for that matter? They hold people’s lives, often literally in the case of a heart or brain surgeon, in their own hands. They are responsible for being trained, educated and fit for duty so that they can make the correct choices and decisions for the patient.

And what about bus drivers? All it takes is one (un)timely turn of the giant steering wheel and their bus and its passengers head into the oncoming traffic. They need to be pretty responsible to choose not to do this, right?

And then there are the jobs that while life and death are not in question, certain roles are responsible for lots of people’s livelihoods, such as the CEO of a large or even small company. We would say the CEO or executive has more responsibility than the copy boy. In a commercial kitchen we might say that the executive or head chef shoulders far more responsibility than the commis/junior chef or kitchen hand because of the obvious-seen-with-the-eye consequences of a poor performance.

There’s also the teacher. Doesn’t a teacher hold a huge amount of responsibility to teach kids what they need to know in life? If my kid’s teacher decides they don’t feel like teaching anything today, isn’t that pretty irresponsible?

It is ingrained in us from an early age to measure responsibility with a measurable or tangible outcome or consequence. While there is truth in this, there is a much deeper and all encompassing definition or understanding of responsibility that is not nearly as widely known, but is felt nonetheless by all of us.

What if there is a grander way to approach responsibility that every single one of us on this earth has been signed up to, no matter what?

We have been tricked into thinking someone’s job is more important because we see it has an obviously greater effect/consequence on another. This way of defining responsibility actually results in irresponsibility, by giving up on (y)our own power or giving it away to others that seemingly have the greater requirement to be responsible.

Fact is, there is a grander way and it’s called energetic responsibility. How we express, talk, act, move and think carries a quality that is either harming or healing. With this awareness, we are able to understand the vastness of the responsibility that lays within each and every one of us in the way we express in our daily lives, that definitely includes how we do the job we do.

This audio provides a brief insight into everything in life being energy and therefore being about energy, and hence we can no longer see the air traffic controller as being more responsible than any other job.

60% Complete

Understanding ourselves as energy

Understanding everything is everything and everything is energy.

Our current approach to responsibility has been a very simplified superficial approach, even going so far as to say damaging to the core of society. With our narrow definition of responsibility, we have created a workforce of comparison and competition, of people giving up, feeling powerless, and people feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious by the immensity of the perceived meaning of responsibility.

Energetic responsibility encompasses a much deeper degree of consequence, greater than the eye can see, more in line with what the heart can feel.

We can close our door and think that if people can’t see what’s going on in there, behind that closed door, it doesn’t matter. We might ask does it really matter how the carrots in the kitchen were chopped up, as long as they were, right? But this is a very dangerous thing to do when energy is taken into account. All behaviour, action, thought or word is energetic and is poured into the ‘atmosphere’ so to speak, regardless of whether it has been noticed, engaged with or even heard. It is like air – it goes through doors and is felt next door.

Energetic responsibility is a truly beautiful thing. We all make a difference in everything we do, say, think and believe, regardless the profession we are in, or walk of life. It means that everyone, I say again everyone, can feel purposeful in what they choose to do.

Living life aware of our energetic responsibility, we would collectively be creating a workforce of committed, keen, empowered workers who actually enjoy their jobs because they feel the purpose in their being there, no matter their task and no matter their pay scale. Chopping up carrots in a kitchen has just been given a whole new meaning!

Humans can feel incredibly empowered by this new awareness of energetic responsibility. We can see the baggage handler’s level of responsibility is equal to the pilot’s, albeit in a different expression.

The way the bags are moved and then stored in the cargo hold will be felt on arrival by the new baggage handlers as they remove and place the bags on conveyor belts for return to passengers. It feels beautiful to know complete strangers have taken care of our belongings. While it looks like ‘my job is over’, it’s not really, as while the role might be over, how we did our job lingers for the next person to either be supported by or harmed by.

This is the true beauty of energetic responsibility.

Filed under

CareerWork stressResponsibility

  • By Suzanne Anderssen, B.Com, Dip Av

    Keeping my sense of fun alive while living a purposeful life is key to my own well-being. Spending time with farm animals, my job in aviation, long walks at sunrise, reading the purple books, and spinach and blueberry smoothies seem to help too.

  • Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.