Re + Sponde
Again + Pledge
People think they want responsibility. When confronted with consequences, they want anything but responsibility. But that responsibility means you pledged yourself to something. The force of the “re” is essentially 2X. That is, I don’t just pledge; I pledge it AND AGAIN once more. When you dig into the underlying “sponde,” you’ll find it was used in both Greek and Latin with a reverent meaning, performing a sacred rite. Your responsibility is you sacred rite PLUS you doubled the oath.
Last week a guy who had worked with my wife sent out a massive email about a long-completed project. It’s been over for a while. It turned out that the hard proof for which he had rendered final authorization had had an error on it. He wanted to know who was responsible for sending this out to print. Lol. Like I said, he was the person at the end of the project sequence who rendered final approval.
But this is typical. People conflate responsibility with power on the front end. So they think they want it. Then, when confronted with consequences of their responsibilities, they want it to be someone else’s problem. Lol. It isn’t anyone else’s problem, bud.
Your health and fitness is like that. We want to reign supreme over control of our bodies. We have enraged debates about individual rights. But then, when we are confronted with the outcomes of how we’ve mistreated our bodies or our lives, we want it to be someone or something else’s problem.
People doubly confuse this by equating fault with responsibility. Those two things aren’t the same. Sometimes, fault and responsibility run on the same track; but they’re in different lanes. Like in the above example, the guy who did final approval is both at fault AND responsible. He’s trying to make it someone else’s problem. He can wish and try to confuse all he wants. But the emails and the Adobe signature with his approval are all on record.
With health and fitness, some things aren’t your fault. But it’s still your responsibility to figure out how you’ll move forward in it. Certainly, the way you live your life does affect others. Thus, you can absolutely make it another person’s problem the farther into dysfunction you go. An alcoholic parent can transform his fault and his shirking of responsibility into his child’s problem. Consequently, that child will unfortunately be confronted with a personal responsibility that is grave: run away; live elsewhere; return violence for violence, etc. None was the child’s fault. That his father decided to become a drunkard isn’t the child’s responsibility. But that child will still be confronted with his own personal sacred rite, and whether he will accept or reject dysfunction within himself going forward, and whether he will stop the dysfunction or pass it on to others.
Your health and fitness is no different. Some things aren’t your fault. But many are your responsibility. And yet more may be your problem. You want to live you own life? Good. I do too. But now you have to pony up and be willing to pay the price. Personal freedom has inherent costs. They’re tied to personal responsibility. No matter whose fault you think anything is, it’s your responsibility to figure out how to move from here.