If you have a value system or hierarchy it creates principles for action. The value system that I want to propose is that of responsibility.
Taking responsibility seems to be the most meaningful as well as fulfilling thing to me, and I do not use superlatives lightly. It seems to me that for many years now, I’ve always come back to the idea of taking responsibility. Responsibility for yourself, responsibility for others and responsibility for the world. I like to say that our practice is about taking care. Self-care and world-care. And these two are very connected.
First of all in the sense that you are of course part of this world, so if you practice self-care you also take care of the world. But the connection is there even in the sense of getting energy from the self-care for the world-care and vice versa. A big part of our practice is taking care of your own health, but this knowledge is obviously also something that the practitioner can share with others. The crafting section of our practice (removed comma) can be placed on different rungs on the self-care-world-care scale: you can craft as self-care, not really trying to change anything in the world, or vice versa, you are caring for the world with your craft, you build something, you change something, while maybe actually needing some self-care after. It seems to me that world-care in itself, without self-care, can barely exist.
Rather, it is essential to understand that carrying too much external weight, for example always only giving for the environment, for other people etc. can drain the caregiver. Therefore the right balance between self- and world-care is vital. Taking responsibility means taking care of something. Yourself or other things or both. It seems to me that we live in a time where responsibility is often taken away from us; thinking for ourselves is taken away by a clear structure, rules and specialisation. The specialisation is a big one: if you are just a small part of the cog-wheel, your responsibility is also only for a part, not for the whole anymore. So you stop caring about the whole and instead care only about the small piece of the puzzle that is your specialisation, because we have the idea, that this is where our responsibility ends. Take garbage for example.
The world is full of garbage. Everywhere garbage is lying around in the environment, and it makes the world less beautiful and we know it is bad because this garbage is mainly plastic that is problematic for most living beings if consumed. But how often do you collect the garbage that you're passing by? Imagine everyone would simply always collect garbage when he/she is walking somewhere. The garbage problem would be much smaller. But because there are professionals who take care of waste, we think it is not our responsibility. Some people who are very ruthless even throw their garbage into the street because they know that at some point the road will be cleaned anyway. The problem is that there are many corners of the streets and of places that never get cleaned, where the garbage is just pilling up. See, this is incredibly stupid. This world is all our responsibility, the beauty of this world. It’s not only the responsibility of the professional garbage man. And for sure you should never make the world uglier because you know someone else will clean up behind you. But this is happening from young and old. Several times during the last weeks I stopped people in the street and told them to pick up the garbage that they just threw to the ground. If you understand the lesson of the garbage, if you understand it completely, you know that we are all responsible for everything and we shall act in the way that is possible for us. Use your possibilities of taking responsibilities. They are most likely greater than you think or are telling yourself.
Responsibility is what is guiding the action.
Joseph Bartz 2019