Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Responsibility

"The reason we’re here is to exercise personal responsibility, to evolve the higher self and to influence that development in others." - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, born Ferdinand Lewis "Lew" Alcinder, Jr.

"The price of power is responsibility for the public good." - Winthrop Williams Aldrich

"Life is something you measure not in years but in precious moments - and in how you value those moments. The responsibility for making such moments meaningful is yours alone. There are no definitions of failure or success except the ones you specify for yourself. You are the meaning of your own life." - Rabbi Avraham of Sochotchov NULL

"When a man decides to do something he must go all the way, but he must take responsibility for what he does. He must know first why he is doing it and then he must proceed with his actions with no doubts or remorse." -

"One can pass on responsibility, but not the discretion that goes with it." - Benvenuto Cellini

"Responsibility is the possibility of opportunity culminating in inevitable fulfillment." - Sri Chinmoy, born Chinmoy Kumar Ghose

"The price of greatness is responsibility." -

"A prig always finds a last refuge in responsibility." - Jean Cocteau

"Man must now assume the responsibility for his world. He can no longer shove it off on religious power." -

"A primary responsibility of educators is that they not only be aware of the general principle of the shaping of actual experience by environing conditions, but that they also recognize in the concrete what surroundings, physical and social, that exist so as to extract from them all that they have to contribute to building up experiences that are worthwhile." - John Dewey

"To accept as a fact of life that a certain technology will be used for the simple reason that we know how to use it, or that we shall continue to live under a certain social system after it has become too complicated for human understanding, is tantamount to an abdication of intellectual and social responsibility." -

"The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"On its highest level man's contemporary desire to escape responsibility expresses itself not in emphasis on luck, or in emotional submission to fate, but in a thoroughgoing deterministic theory, ascribing all personal qualities to heredity and environment." - Harry Emerson Fosdick

"I believe we are here to do good. It is the responsibility of every human being to aspire to do something worthwhile, to make this world a better place than the one he found. Life is a gift, and if we agree to accept it, we must contribute in return. When we fail to contribute, we fail to adequately answer why we are here." - Armand Hammer

"[Paraphrase] The most dangerous walls are not political or military boundaries but the walls that mutually divide individual people and that divide our own souls. My presidential agenda would be to bring spirituality, moral responsibility and humility into politics and, in that respect, to make clear that there is something higher above us." -

"The purpose of my existence as I climb is to adapt my personal dimensions to the environment around me at each moment. I become an active player sharing some of the responsibility for my own destiny, achieving a heightened sense of awareness and seeing the direct result of my efforts; either I fall or I reach the top. But the meaning does not come from conquering the rock. Purpose comes from moving in harmony with nature, rather than destroying it or altering it for my immediate satisfaction. What gives life meaning is the fulfillment of directing energy in a way that brings a higher order to, and harmony with, the environment I live in... The ultimate meaning of our lives is relative to how much we have given to others. The ultimate meaning of our lives is connected with death... I would like to know that I have inspired people to go beyond self-limiting stereotypes to experience and nurture the true richness of their passions." - Lynn Hill, aka Lynn Hill-Raffa

"Responsibility walks hand in hand with capacity and power." - Josiah Gilbert Holland, also Joshua Gilbert Holland

"So long as we are on a search for pain-free human relationships, or shifting responsibility for all our hurt and all our fears of abandonment, or seeking ourselves in others, we have not yet found the thread that will lead us toward God, or ourselves. When we learn to accept ourselves - not just our public achievements and private successes, not just the divine being we are evolving into, but also our failures, inadequacies, cowardices and fears - then we will be able to embrace the strangers among us, because we will, finally, have embraced the stranger inside ourselves." - Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

"It is the responsibility of the conscious, rational mind to decide what it accepts, retains, and dwells upon. It’s an immense responsibility." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"Knowing the truth carries with it an extraordinary responsibility. Meeting that responsibility can be your most rewarding experience." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"We all have a gift. Each of us is born with something unique to express, to do, to become. It is your responsibility to discover your unique gift... Once having been discovered, the gift is developed and nurtured and then it is given back... Real joy comes from giving back, from being authentically you and sharing that authenticity with those around you." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"A new position of responsibility will usually show a man to be a far stronger creature than was supposed." - William James

"Responsibility means, "the ability to respond." In any of life's challenges, opportunities or disasters, we can respond in whatever way we choose. Our response dictates what life hands us next." - John-Roger & Peter McWilliams NULL

"No man was ever endowed with a right without being at the same time saddled with a responsibility." - Gerald White Johnson

""Every fault of the mind becomes more conspicuous and more guilty in proportion to the rank of the offender" - Persons in high station are not only answerable for their own conduct, but for the example they may hold out to others. This, joined to their advantages of education, aggravates their vices and loads them with a greater share of responsibility." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"The aim [of education] is to develop a sincere faith in the holiness of life and sense of responsibility for enabling the... people to make its contribution to the achievement of a good life." -

"Political action is the highest responsibility of a citizen." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"A crowd... in its very concept is the untruth, by reason of the fact that it renders the individual completely impenitent and irresponsible, or at least weakens his sense of responsibility by reducing it to a fraction." - Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

"Cultivate fine taste and discrimination in your choice of things. Get a right idea of values. Material possessions that you do not need and cannot use may be only an encumbrance. Let your guiding rule be not how much but how good. A thing you do not want is dear at any price. Avoid surplusage. Choose things that express your own individuality. You must possess your things or they will possess you. Look for quality rather than quantity. Unnecessary possessions bring unnecessary care and responsibility. Excess is waste. Have an occasional stocktaking and eliminate unsparingly." -

"Happiness is not pleasure, it is order. With order come freedom, and with freedom there is responsibility." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Relationship means to respond. The root meaning of that word, not what we have made of that word, is to respond completely to another, like responsibility. Do we ever respond totally with each other, or it is always a fragmentary response, a partial response?" - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"We hold the power and bear the responsibility." - Abraham Lincoln

"Freedom rests, and always will, on individual responsibility, individual integrity, individual effort, individual courage, and individual religious faith. It does not rest in Washington. It rests with you and me." - Ed Lipscomb

"Ability involves responsibility. Power to its last particle is duty." - Alexander Maclaren

"The true purpose of life, aside from resisting oppression from without, each individual carries within himself, the responsibility of living nobly or ignobly." - David O. McKay

"Self-government, self-discipline, self-responsibility are the triple safeguards of the independence of man." - Bernice Moore-Valdez

"Each of us was placed here for a special purpose. I believe that it is each person’s responsibility to determine what he or she can do to make the world a better place - and then go out and do it... Take full responsibility for our actions. Risk failure." - Henry Ross Perot

"We are each put on this earth to make a particular contribution to humanity... Although God, the Almighty, has a plan for every one of us, He gives us choices. It is our responsibility to make the best of those choices in order to achieve our ultimate purpose." - Mary Lou Retton

"For centuries and centuries the world has been struggling to divide up economic scarcity, and for the first time we have the tools of abundance with which to meet mankind's basic economic and material needs. If we will use these tools intelligently, with a sense of social and moral responsibility, they will enable us to solve mankind's basic material needs. Then we can devote greater time and energy and effort to the facilitation of man's growth as a social and cultural and spiritual being, which is the real meaning of life on this earth." -

"The mature man knows that he is likely to make mistakes. He wants to take responsibility for them. Only by facing his mistakes does he learn to act more responsibly." - Richard H. Rice, fully Richard Henry Rice

"Responsibility is measured, not by the amount of injury resulting from wrong action, but by the distinctness with which conscience has the opportunity of distinguishing between the right and the wrong." -

"Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will - his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals." - Albert Schweitzer

"Freedom and responsibility are like Siamese twins: they die if they are parted." - Lillian Smith, fully Lillian Eugenia Smith

"Freedom is a dreadful thing unless it goes hand in hand with responsibility. Democracy among men is a specter except when the hearts of men are mature." - Lillian Smith, fully Lillian Eugenia Smith

"Our whole free dynamic society’s future depends upon a continued growth of our sense of responsibility and morality in direct proportion to the increase in our material wealth." - Walter H. Wheeler, Jr.

"Whether a man is burdened by power or enjoys power; whether he is trapped by responsibility or made free by it; whether he is moved by other people and outer forces or moves them - this is of the essence of leadership." - Theodore H. White, fully Theodore Harold White

"The new three R’s: responsibility, restraint, respect." - Montel Williams

"There is a single reason why 99 out of 100 average business men never become leaders. That is their unwillingness to pay the price of responsibility. By the price of responsibility I mean hard driving, continual work... the courage to make decisions, to stand the gaff... the scourging honesty of never fooling yourself about yourself... And the grooves that lead to the heights are not made between nine and five. They are burned in by the midnight oil." - Owen D. Young

"Patriotism is a lively sense of responsibility. Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on its own dunghill." - Richard Aldington, born Edward Godfree Aldington

"While an open mind is priceless, it is priceless only when its owner has the courage to make a final decision which closes the mind for action after the process of viewing all sides of the question has been completed. Failure to make a decision after due consideration of all the facts will quickly brand a man unfit for a position of responsibility. Not all of your decisions will be correct. None of us is perfect. But if you get into the habit of making decisions, experience will develop your judgment to a point where more and more of your decisions will be right. After all, it is better to be right 51 percent of the time and get something done, than it is to get nothing done because you fear to reach a decision." - H. W. Andrews