Posted in Life, Personal Observations

The Theory of Responsibility

Just like Albert Einstein, while sitting in an office realised that Newton’s law of gravity was somewhat incorrect, I kind of stumbled across the same notion about The Theory of Responsibility

Before I embark on what The Theory of Responsibility is, here’s the definition around the term “responsibility”. 

On a social aspect:

1. The state, quality, or fact of being responsible.

2. Something for which one is responsible; a duty, obligation, or burden.

On a business aspect:

A duty or obligation to satisfactorily perform or complete a task (assigned by someone, or created by one’s own promise or circumstances) that one must fulfil, and which has a consequent penalty for failure.

OK, so it’s safe to assume that responsibility is something to do with the fulfilment of something either given to you, or something you have taken on, to a certain point.

So, what’s my theory you ask?

Where Theory of Responsibility is R

Where Creativity is C

So in words – More Responsibility = less creativity

Mathematicians across the globe will probably throw their hands up in laughter at my feeble attempt to encapsulate my theory as a sum, but the (-) signifies creativity decreasing as responsibility increases.

There’s a famous saying, the more responsibility you have the better a person you are.  OK, so in terms of being a more experienced human being, this may well be the case.  However, the way I view this, the more responsibility you have the less creative you become.


Where is Creativity born out of?  To be creative you need to be imaginative! To be imaginative you need to have the freedom to think! To have the freedom to think, you need to have less on your mind for that space to exist. 

Today, we are shaping the next generation of children to be more responsible much sooner than what we were, however, the danger is that we may end up taking away their ability to be creative because they simply don’t have the freedom to think in this way.  I am not saying we educate the next generation to be any less responsible but that we tread carefully not to harm their ability to be creative.  Let’s delay the point at which they need to be pushed out to the big bad world to fend for themselves, let them stride across countryside, take adventurous walks, spend hours looking for motivation and a reason to be creative. 

If we fill their minds with things they have to do, when will they get the time to do the things they want to do?



Someone trying to rip through the normality of life and expand a few horizons.

19 thoughts on “The Theory of Responsibility

  1. Yes .. I agree with you 110%.. Actually you just nailed it .. I know that for a fact .. not that bigger responsibility is bad or too much.. I look at such extra responsibility as a challenge but o think the issue here is that too much responsibility can take too much of your time ..
    Great post .. i am keeping this 🙂

    1. Thanks Dunia.

      Yes I agree that responsibility is not a bad thing, but craming your brain with so many “tasks” that one is responsible for completing, can have a bearing on “me” time, for one to be creative. I guess it’s the emotions toiled with that responsibility that may weigh you down and there not being enough scope for you to break free.

  2. On the surface this doesn’t seem to be right, but then I can’t disagree with it on any particular point. I guess I’ll have to think about it, which is really the best response one can have to a blog post.

      1. I’ve been musing on the subject, but it’s difficult to do without some way of quantifying both responsibility and creativity. As long as those aspects remain relative and unmeasured, one can’t really find any support for your conclusion.

      2. Is responsibility and creativity quantifiable? It is as simple as listing down the number of “responsible actions” you need to perform? or is it a case of the burden of responsibility that strains your thoughts and ability to free yourself to then do something on the creative side? I am no master of encephalology so my notion is not on grounds of medical research, but maybe this is something you could assist with?

  3. I think your on to something here, few weeks ago I had similar conversation with my University Lecturer. We disagreed on allot of things but eventually we agreed that to contain peoples minds you need to overflow it with information all the time, keep them isolated from each other, alone. What this does it make creativity seem like an impossible task, simply because your mind it too busy processing all the crap information we are given.

    Late Steve Jobs, made the exact same point, in his biography ne talks.about declutering the mind, to the point that Steve didn’t even have furniture in his home for a very very long time.

    In November I started drafting a post around ‘mind declutering’ which I never finished to complete, I’d hope to finish it first week of January. It’s pretty much along the same lines as this post. I’d hope u can read it and share ur thoughts when I finish it.

    On that note, I strongly suggest you read about Steve jobs, it won’t disappoint you.

    1. Hi BAB,

      The brain has the power to intake floods of information and process it, I am no expert in the field to recognise this. Also, the information in your head will either want you to simply store it and do nothing, or it will require an action, hence you have a responsibility to carry it out. Now add a few more in your daily churn, what happens when you can’t complete this in a given time, it may roll over to the next day. This will then have an impact on other potential bits of information/processes scheduled for that day, so something has to give, hence human nature tells us that we become strained because we feel we cannot take on too much…

      I look forward to reading your post on “mind declutering”, could do with some tips for myself. I was given the Steve Jobs biography as an Xmas present so as soon as I finish reading my current book, I am onto this one.


    1. Hi Kay, yes Xmas/New Year period means time away from writing posts, spend more time thinking about how to keep the boys busy on a daily basis.

      So, what is your take on this? You are a Creative person, does the theory stack up?

  4. Whilst one might start to count the number of responsibilities one has, at the end of the day the list is almost endless – I might have responsibility to hand in some work, but I also have social responsibilities to not murder anyone etc.

    As such, using that as a method of quantification is almost useless unless one draws an arbitrary line, which would also render this method pretty much useless.

  5. Great pOst and one of your best.

    Responsibilities and what your talking about is about social skills too. When we have information overload, what we do with it means bringing out other skills we hAve also learnt along the way. To process and do an action when required.

    You made a pOint about kids being made responsible but also being allowed to do what they want to do.

    My sister had the attitude of “let children be children” she gave no responsibility and basically let them do as they please. Her thinking was when they grow up they will have be doing it then anyway. What she now has are children who can’t function as responsible humans because they were never taught what redponsibilty was. They can’t comprehend the simple of requests, commands or instructions. They refuse all liability on anything going on around them.

    There has to be a balance. I don’t think you can put it out there enough and hammer it home enough what ever you’re trying to get through to someone or process yourself.

    The brain like the rest of your body takes what it needs and discards the rest, it will store info and bring it out when required.

    Hope I made sense coz its 4am and I’ve got insomnia. Brains having a race on a F1 track and can’t seem to stop it. 😉

    1. Hi Aneesa,

      Thanks for the comment. Yes it is a fine balance between too much responsibility and “not enough” although even I am struggling to comprehend what is “not enough”. As you can see from the other comments, especially sahelanthropus, some very good points raised. I think what I was working towards was something along the lines of our social responsibilities, social, a term you raised in your comment. I guess discussions on this are endless but it has spurred me on to possibly write some more, probably bring more clarity to the notion that I am trying to build (got to ask myself whether I am now making sense).

      Don’t worry, your thoughts do make sense although 4am is a little extreme, unless the wind outside has been keeping you up.

      1. I was up till 6am partially due to the wind and partially due to some thoughts of my own.

        I personally don’t think responsibility can ever be enough. How do you know how much is enough or not? Well think of it as in terms of capability age, sex, mentality and perhaps even education. It’s a guide line to what you know they are capable of comprehending, registering and acting out.

        This subject does need more in depth discussion. Look forward to seeing what you write.

  6. Wow!
    Quite an interesting post! and equally interesting comments!
    My take on it:
    I think creativity has nothing to do with responsibility. (think of people like Richard Brandson- so much responsibility yet he continues to be so so creative!!)
    For one to be creative, as you said, one needs the freedom to think and therefore have less on your mind.
    Are you not choosing what you are thinking about all the time? If you are thinking about all your responsibilities you can’t think about any thing else. When you choose to think about other things you open up your mind to creativity.
    There is no one that can deprive you of your freedom to think besides yourself… you are constantly choosing what to think in every moment- sometimes its very subconscious because you are so used to thinking of your responsibilities.
    These responsibilities are not things you have to be thinking about all the time- surely you are not thinking of your responsibilities when you watch TV or read a book or play with your kids… (or even in the loo! lol)
    As for the mind being overloaded- every single second, we have 2 million bits of information coming at us though our senses- in our brains we have something called the reticular activating system- what this does is it filters out information by generalizing, distorting and deleting information from that 2 million bits- so all you are actually processing +/- 132 bits of information. That’s all your mind can handle. thats all you get all the time. no more.
    When you think chronic thoughts (the same topics constantly- like i have this responsibility and i still have to do this and this and i should forget this) that’s what makes the mind feel cluttered. These thoughts don’t really move, they stay the same. You have to make the choice to think other things… to open the mind to creativity.
    Don’t underestimate the minds ability to process. it doesn’t take long. it just needs better thoughts- not chronic thoughts.
    You’re greatest responsibility in life is to yourself- to make sure you are feeling your best- for it is only then that you can give your best to others. and when you are at your best, you tend to have a lot more creativity flowing!
    I think its all in peoples minds that its too cluttered to think about anything else or that there is too much going on in their lives that they cannot think about anything but responsibilities. People find the time to take holidays, to eat out, to meet friends etc etc- they can make time for themselves too. they are just not on their own priority lists.
    As for children… actions speak louder than words, especially to children who model everything their parents do. If you want to make them responsible adults that have great sense of right and wrong, you first got to be that person.
    I guess for me my theory would be more like this… SR = C where SR is your responsibility to yourself, self responsibility. and C is creativity.
    I’m so sorry it got to be such a long comment.. and i think i may have been off topic here and there…

    1. Hi Shilpa.

      No don’t apologise, no size restriction on comments 🙂

      Some very valid points and yes one does have control over their thoughts and I do like the term “clutter” because sometimes that’s what it feels like, too much clutter in our lives that maybe holds us back.

      I would like to add more weight to this post but may require further clarity in terms of what I mean with regards to “responsibility”….

      Thanks for the “Shilpa Formula” – I will add it to the list.

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