It is the responsibility of leadership to provide opportunity, and the responsibility of individuals to contribute.
—C. William Pollard (b.1938) American Businessman
A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with — a man is what he makes of himself.
—Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922) Scottish-born American Inventor, Engineer, Academic
The burden one likes is cheerfully carried.
Responsibility is the possibility of opportunity culminating in inevitable fulfillment.
—Sri Chinmoy (1931–2007) Indian Yoga Teacher
Ef you take a sword an’ dror it,
An’ go stick a feller thru,
Guv’ment ain’t to answer for it,
God’ll send the bill to you.
—James Russell Lowell (1819–91) American Poet, Critic
The way to avoid responsibility is to say, “I’ve got responsibilities.”
—Richard Bach (b.1936) American Novelist, Aviator
The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.
—Albert Ellis (1913–2007) American Psychologist
People think responsibility is hard to bear. It’s not. I think that sometimes it is the absence of responsibility that is harder to bear. You have a great feeling of impotence.
—Henry Kissinger (b.1923) American Diplomat, Academician
God hath entrusted me with myself.
—Epictetus (55–135) Ancient Greek Philosopher
This is the duty of our generation as we enter the twenty-first century—solidarity with the weak, the persecuted, the lonely, the sick, and those in despair. It is expressed by the desire to give a noble and humanizing meaning to a community in which all members will define themselves not by their own identity but by that of others.
—Elie Wiesel (1928–2016) Romanian-born American Writer, Professor, Political Activist
We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
To what extent is any given man morally responsible for any given act? We do not know.
—Alexis Carrel (1873–1944) American Surgeon, Biologist
Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility.
—Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) American Social Reformer
We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say
—Martin Luther (1483–1546) German Protestant Theologian
I will not surrender responsibility for my life and my actions.
—Enoch Powell (1912–98) English Conservative Politician, Scholar
Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important … they do not mean to do harm … they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.
—T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) American-born British Poet, Dramatist, Literary Critic
It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.
—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008) Russian Dissident Novelist
Responsibility: A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one’s neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star.
—Ambrose Bierce (1842–1913) American Short-story Writer, Journalist
Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behavior, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other individual or organization or entity. But this means we then give away our power to that entity.
—M. Scott Peck (1936–2005) American Psychiatrist, Author
It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously.
—Peter Ustinov (1921–2004) British Actor, Playwright, Director
I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.
—John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874–1960) American Philanthropist, Businessperson
We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, anytime, in the blink of an eye.
—Carlos Castaneda (1925–98) Peruvian-born American Anthropologist, Author
For every difficulty that supposedly stops a person from succeeding there are thousands who have had it a lot worse and have succeeded anyway. So can you.
—Brian Tracy (b.1944) American Author, Motivational Speaker
Fair play with others is primarily not blaming them for anything that is wrong with us.
—Eric Hoffer (1902–83) American Philosopher, Author
You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900–44) French Novelist, Aviator
The assurance that this is a state of probation, should give vigor to virtue and solemnity to truth. Every hour assumes a fearful responsibility when we view it as the culturer of an immortal harvest.
—Lydia H. Sigourney (1791–1865) American Poetaster, Author
I recommend that the Statue of Liberty be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast.
—Viktor Frankl (1905–97) Austrian Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist
I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.
—Oprah Winfrey (b.1954) American TV Personality
A man who enjoys responsibility usually gets it. A man who merely likes exercising authority usually loses it.
—Malcolm S. Forbes (1919–1990) American Publisher, Businessperson
We create the world in which we live; if that world becomes unfit for human life; it is because we tire of our responsibility.
—Cyril Connolly (1903–74) British Literary Critic, Writer
Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
—Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–80) French Philosopher, Playwright, Novelist, Screenwriter, Political Activist
Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought. Let us have faith that right makes might and in that faith let us; to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
Each individual in fact has moral responsibility for the acts which he personally performs; no one can be exempted from this responsibility, and on the basis of it everyone will be judged by God himself.
—Pope John Paul II (1920–2005) Polish Catholic Religious Leader
Oh, duty is what one expects from others, it is not what one does oneself.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
—Ronald Reagan (1911–2004) American Head of State
Responsibility of any kind can seem intimidating and for this reason man may often be afraid of truly deep relationships with other human beings. A relationship suggests to him the most extreme of responsibilities. It implies a burden, a restriction of freedom, seldom the converse. A student in love class, for instance, commented, “I’ve always been afraid of deep relationship because of the responsibility it seemed to impose. I was afraid of the demands it would make of me and I worried I wouldn’t be able to meet those demands. I was amazed to find that when I did get the courage to form a relationship, I actually became stronger. I acquired two minds instead of one, four hands, four arms, four legs, and another’s world. In joining forces with someone, I got twice the strength to grow, with twice as many alternatives. Now it’s easier for me to love others. I am stronger and I am less afraid”. He had discovered an important insight.
—Leo Buscaglia (1924–98) American Motivational Speaker
Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.
—Jonas Salk (1914–95) American Biologist, Physician, Medical Researcher
If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.
—Pauline Phillips (Abigail van Buren) (b.1918) American Columnist
You will make a lousy anybody else, but you are the best you in existence. You are the only one who can use your ability. It is an awesome responsibility.
—Zig Ziglar (1926–2012) American Author
To be a man is to be responsible. It is to feel shame at the sight of what seems to be unmerited misery. It is to take pride in a victory won by one’s comrades. It is to feel, when setting one’s stone, that one is contributing to the building of the world.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900–44) French Novelist, Aviator
Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.
—C. Everett Koop (1916–2013) American Physician, Government Official
Whatever happens, take responsibility.
—Tony Robbins (b.1960) American Self-Help Author, Entrepreneur
A weakened sense of responsibility does not weaken the fact of responsibility.
—William Bennett (b.1943) American Politician, Political Theorist, Government Official
To repel one’s cross is to make it heavier.
—Henri Frederic Amiel (1821–81) Swiss Moral Philosopher, Poet, Critic
You must take personal responsibility.
You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons,
or the wind, but you can change yourself.
That is something you have charge of.
You don’t have charge of the constellations,
but you do have charge of whether you read,
develop new skills, and take new classes.
—Jim Rohn (1930–2009) American Entrepreneur, Author, Motivational Speaker
The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.
—John C. Maxwell (b.1947) American Christian Professional Speaker, Author, Clergyman
Sin with the multitude, and your responsibility and guilt are as great and as truly personal, as if you alone had done the wrong.
—Tryon Edwards American Theologian
Dr. Miller says we are pessimistic because life seems like a very bad, very screwed-up film. If you ask “What the hell is wrong with the projector?” and go up to the control room, you find it’s empty. You are the projectionist, and you should have been up there all the time.
—Colin Wilson (b.1931) British Philosopher, Novelist
We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear.
—Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004) American Psychiatrist