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Not my work

Not my work

When I was a little boy, my mother once asked me to wash the dishes.
“It’s not my work”, I complained.
“Fine.”, she said. “It’s not my work either! Should we let the dirty dishes remain as they are?”
That was when I got my first lesson of collective [tag]responsibility[/tag]. My parents brought me up in a way that made me share the responsibility of anything that we did at home.

But that was family. It’s a different story at work.

In the professional world, the situation is complex. A lot of our work depends upon others. If we get stuck at some place, we can either wait for the input, or do it ourselves. Depending on the criticality of the [tag]inputs[/tag], we decide whether to hold or to take [tag]control[/tag] in our own hands.

Often people adopt the approach depicted in the picture. However, I strongly feel that we shouldn’t be over dependent on others for simple tasks such as these. At the same time, if we keep doing others’ work, albeit a minor one, it still has the potential to make that person unaccountable for it, and we would end up owning the responsibility for the same. So, at the end of the day, it’s always safe to say, “Not my work”. Isn’t it?

Published inSocial Commentary


  1. Viren Viren

    You wash plates at home ?

  2. Viren: Yes I do;
    if the kaam-waali-baai doesn’t show up !

  3. Raji Raji

    Viren, What’s wrong or surprising in washing plates ? !!! Please !
    I am better off without a kaam wali !!! Less headache, more freedom!

  4. Isha Yoga Course (by Guru Jaggi Vasudev) and Art of Living course (of Sri Sri Ravi Shankara) taught me a new way of looking at the word “Responsibility”.

    Normally and by default, we don’t like responsibility for anything and avoid it as much as we can. And, if anything (wrong/bad) happens, we immediately say “oh, I wasn’t responsible”. We somewhere connect responsibility with Blame and hence shun it.

    But what these courses teach you is that Responsibility is your “Ability to Respond” to a situation. Whether you ‘CAN/are ABLE to’ do something or not. And as long as you CAN and are ABLE to do something and take Pride in doing it (and let others be jealous of your abilities), Responsibility is good and welcome !

    And I am not bothered about others. I am bothered about myself and my work. And if my work is held up because of somehting somebody shud have done, but not done; and if I can do it, I WILL do it (and not keep waiting for them to do it).

    I have been doing this and the praise and appreciation I get for my work, I have seen, makes those people start working !!!

  5. Raji,

    I really like what you have said. Its an individualistic approach – something that makes us believe each individual can make a difference.

    Indeed 🙂

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