When someone does something for you, do you receive it freely or based on what is fair? Are you doing your job obligated to do so or because you have a responsibility to your employer? We all live incredibly close to fairness, so let’s define fairness.
Let us define fairness. Fairness is what you think you owe another person or what you think you deserve from another person. It’s about obligation. You are obligated, or they are obligated, but it’s based on your definition of owing or deserving, not theirs. We all have different meanings of this.
When my son Andrew was about ten years old, he wanted his friend Rob to spend the night. His mother said no. When I asked her why she cried and said, ” it’s Rob’s turn to invite us to his house.” She was counting, and she was good at it. She would never allow herself to get ahead or too far behind. She received everything out of fairness, and she could not give freely.
An obligation is a debt without choice. It’s a have-to. When we do things for a long time without choice, we feel resentment, which leads to emptiness.
You can learn to give freely but responsibly. You can think differently about how you receive and give. If you can give and receive freely, and understand that you don’t owe the other person anything, it leads to fulfillment.
I prefer to think like this; I do not owe anybody anything, nor do I deserve anything from them. However, I have responsibilities to others. I am not responsible for them. None of us owe or deserve.
I do not owe my wife anything, but I have a responsibility to her. Responsibility is a very different word from obligation. Responsibility is an opportunity to choose independently, freely, without the influence and expectation of others. It’s a duty that I have and an opportunity to grow and build character. I don’t work because I have to. I work because I have a responsibility to provide for our financial needs.
In the morning, I have two choices. I can get up or stay in bed. When I want to stay in bed, I choose freely to get up. It’s an opportunity for me to persevere and build character.
Life is not fair. That complaining technician will have to run the warranty call behind the tech that made a mistake. Wouldn’t it be nice if he did it out of responsibility and not an obligation? I say yes, let’s all learn the difference.
What are you doing out of obligation and feel resentment? If you think you are obligated, post it in the comment section, and we can discuss it.
I need to go now. I have a responsibility to go pick up Inna because she called and does not drive. Inna is my wife, and I continue to do this for her because I want to, not because I have to. I am giving freely, and she owes me nothing. If I begin to feel like I have no choice, I merely need to tell her no and expect that she will learn how to drive. I am free to choose.