Responsibility and promise
Responsibility is a word that has an enormous importance in our relationship to ourselves, to our fellow human beings and our environment.
“Merely by their existence, their nature and their essence, a human being can be the cause of the fate of his fellow human beings,” wrote the writer Marie Louise Fischer. Being aware of the consequences and consciously aspiring for goodness will lead us to a better life and better future.
We are responsible for all our recklessness, for all our thoughts, words and deeds.
We are responsible for the suffering and pain that we cause to ourselves, to others as well as for the all impact effects that the affected one inflicts on others.
We are responsible for the promises we give, for agreements we make, as well as for the results of our actions. In principle, we wish to live in a society where responsibility and harmony reign and not where promise, vow or agreement have no value; where everyone can lie to everybody else, cheats, etc. And yet we still all too often give reckless promises, swear or make agreements that we do not keep.
If we recklessly promise something, not knowing whether we can keep our promise or not, we are ruining the individual and the society and run contrary to the divine order. If we understand the fact that the creation is a whole, then we know that we can trigger an avalanche that can tie us for many lifetimes.
A spiritually mature person has enough confidence in his divine nature that he doesn’t condemn himself for other people’s actions. Even though others do not act in accordance with their promises and vows, he doesn’t burden himself with their faults. Everyone is responsible for the promises he gives, for the agreements he makes and for the results of his actions. A spiritual development should not be compared to the closing or opening of doors, for it doesn’t end with our death. People are beings of Eternity.
A PROMISE IS A DEBT
A promise is a form of a contract or agreement concluded between two or more people. It binds both people. We should fulfill what we promise. In principle, when it comes to a promise, there is a possibility for us to cancel it, on the condition that this is a mutual agreement. For example, if we have promised our friend some help, a call and an apology are enough, plus an agreement to do it some other day. When it comes to the promise we make to our future spouse in a church, the situation changes. Such a promise is called a “solemn vow” and is more than just an ordinary vow. It is a promise to our partner that we will stand by his or her side and it is accompanied by a solemn vow in front of God Himself. A vow is a promise given in the presence of the Divinity. A vow has its validity, regardless of where it was given, at the registry office in front of a registrar, or in a church. Even though nowadays a wedding in a church, apart from being a social event, has no significance for some people, this doesn’t change the meaning of the ritual. We promise our partner that we will stand by their side for the whole life, in good or bad. In the case of an ordinary promise, there is a possibility to cancel it, if we both agree to it. When it comes to a solemn vow, it is no longer as simple as that. Such a vow is deep and has an effect on our fate, whether we are aware of it or not. It is made in the presence of a third person, God, and that gives such a vow a special significance and depth. When a married couple divorces, it doesn’t suffice that they both agree to it. Their vow was given in front of a third person and so they need His approval. But acquiring this approval is not that simple.
From our previous lives we bring many unresolved issues, and with our irresponsible acts we add many more to them which doesn’t help us to solve them. And yet the recklessness with which spouses divorce nowadays is not an expression of their responsibility to their partner or children, least of all to themselves, it is not in accordance with the vow or the divine order. It merely creates negative consequences and solves nothing. A divorce is a solution only in truly extreme cases. What we do not solve with our present partner, we will have to solve with the next one, and so the story will only repeat itself.
THE VOW AND THE EMOTIONS
We should make vows only in a truly urgent situations. We should speak only the truth and nothing but the truth. We should not swear by something that is not true; we should not make an oath if we are not going to fulfill our promise. The meaning of a vow is very far-reaching. At a court of justice someone can be judged for a false oath and sentenced to many years in prison or even to death.
We should truly never make vows about our emotions. A vow is solid, which means it is lasting. It is senseless to swear on our emotions which are by nature inconstant. How do we know if we shall love someone in a couple of years’ time? For example: “I will always love you; I will always be with you.” Always means forever. It transcends the time and space of our perception and our present reality. “Forever” or “always” means “eternally” which is way longer than tomorrow, a year, ten years or this lifetime. Such a vow binds us and “forever” or “for always”, until we resolve what we created.
And so, we should never make vows to our partner or children that we will always be with them, stand beside them and by their side, etc. This can all change very quickly, we travel somewhere and stay there for a longer period, we can die or divorce. The promise “I will always be with you” to a child can soon change to “temporarily”. Children take words seriously, literally and not metaphorically. Can you imagine what a disappointment and pain the child’s soul experiences and what a message we give them for life?
RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL FORMS
We are merely guests on this planet and so our acceptance of responsibility for it contributes to and enables balance. Let us respect and love life, in all forms. Everything that we possess has been given us as a loan, we shall take nothing with us. We are expected to leave the Earth as it was when we came, if not better and more beautiful. A responsible care for all life forms, even those that do not speak with words as we do and cannot help themselves and depend upon us, are a testimony of our attitude, understanding and connection to the created world.
We are all connected and dependent upon each other. We must recognize our responsibility also in connection to our bodies. We must not abuse or neglect it. Each one of us is responsible also for one’s sexual acts, as well as for the abuse of sexual energy. We are responsible for the guidance of the souls of our conceived children, for the protection of their bodies; for giving a positive example to children in all areas and fields. The child who didn’t learn responsibility and tact inside his family, among friends, will have many problems in his relationship towards himself and others later on in his life. We must explain the eternal truths to them, why they are here, how to act, how to live, how to reach understanding, etc. We should not implant values in them which will further spiritually impoverish them, push them into distress, powerlessness and acts we are unable to understand.
We must accept responsibility for our life. Ultimately, we are responsible for everything that we create and share with the world. Alden Palmer said: “We are not put here on earth to play around. There is work to be done. There are responsibilities to be met. Humanity needs the abilities of every man and woman.”