No escape from responsibility


What can I say? It is hard to go through life with the weight of responsibility on your shoulders – it weighs you down and constrains your movements. It can hold you back from fulfilling even the most ardent wishes and, if it fails to do so, it will only add to your burden before capitulating. There is no escape from responsibility; and it is more rigorous in its search for truth, as well as harsher in its judgments, than even the most consummate, the most erudite and pedantic of high court judges. Judges presiding over earthly tribunals may be persuaded of your innocence, sometimes even bribed to acquit you, but your conscience, that tireless police constable in your mind and heart, stationed there by your responsibility from the moment you became aware of it, will not be swayed by even the most persuasive arguments or handsomest bribes – will not so much as take a nap, close its eyes for a moment or look the other way …

Zygmunt Bauman, On the World and Ourselves (Cambridge: Polity, 2015), 2-3.