When I was younger people often used to say to me that I was very mature for my age. From a young age I developed a tendency, often times an annoying habit, to take responsibility for things and for people. Surely my mother would disagree with this as she still needs to remind me to fix my bed (by the way I task I find to be a huge waste of time! After all it’s going to get messed up again tonight isn’t it?). I will admit that with respect to household responsibilities, paying bills and returning library books I am not very responsible. In fact if I ever go into debt it will be because of Milliken Mills Public Library or perhaps the thousands of dollars I owe to York University Parking Services. However with respect to everything else in life I find myself to be irritatingly responsible. I am a responsible student and I always have been. This doesn’t mean that I have never skipped class but it does mean that when I got the first C in my university career... I cried. There was a lack of Indian culture, specifically Punjabi culture in my high school, so I took the responsibility of creating Pearson’s first Punjabi Students Association. Every other school had an international night except mine so I took the responsibility of organizing one. After high school my responsibilities greatly involved NTP. Responsibilities involve events, competitions, finance, advertising and perhaps the hardest one...being a good captain and friend. Even with respect to my social life I feel responsible for many things. I feel responsible for making my friends happy and if they are not I feel that I’ve let them down. I feel responsible for protecting them as best I can. If my actions or decisions were to ever hurt someone dear to me I would do everything in my power to prevent them from hurting. I go out of my way to do little sweet things because as a friend I feel it’s my responsibility to make the people around me feel special. I’m not saying this is good or bad....but this is how I am. These past few months I’ve almost religiously sat down and just stared into space...just to think. I’ve discovered that I am indeed very responsible in almost every aspect of my life except one...
Rule of Happiness # 5: To live responsibly doesn’t simply mean to pick up after yourself, to be held accountable for your actions or to contribute to other people or another bigger cause. A big part of living responsibly is to be responsible for yourself, your own happiness, your own well-being and your own existence.
How many people in this world do you think die after a tiring life of sitting behind a desk, doing the same thing over and over again? Or how many people in this world have died after spending years doing essays for professors who barely read them? How many people have been born in Toronto and have died in Toronto without laying their eyes on anywhere else besides Toronto? My goal here isn’t to depress you although it may seem so. My goal here is to revisit the ever so overused cliché of “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” And do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being active in school, getting good grades, finding a job, and taking responsibility for your friends. However one must remember that at the end of the day the life we live is only ours and it is ultimately our decision about how we will spend it. So personally I will continue doing all the things I do in life such as school, extracurricular activities, NTP, etc, however there is a new center to my world and that center is ME. Find out what it means to exist in this world and then find happiness in your existence. I promise you that this is not one of those random confusing lines that your professors use in class. Look deeper into that and you will feel something. Someone once told me that “in this world, no one else is going to care about my happiness like I do.” Truth at its finest. Whether you want to believe that or not is your choice, but I guarantee that at one point during your life you will realize that no one else will care for you to the extent that you can care for yourself. Love yourself, appreciate yourself and be responsible for yourself.
After all, moments before you die, when your life flashes before your eyes, if you’re not happy with what you see... the responsibility was yours.