Guest Column: Responsibility

According to Google, responsibility is “the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something, or having control over someone”. In other words – authority, control, power and leadership. Those are powerful words! In my opinion, responsibility is something you are trusted with more and more as you grow older. Responsibility has to be earned and learned. With responsibility comes chores, driving, your job, school, homework, extracurricular activities, and the list goes on and on. As you get older you have all these things waiting for you – waiting for you to mature and to grow up because life doesn’t have a lot of patience.

This year I am in 6th grade at Woodland Middle School. Sixth grade comes with a lot more responsibilities than 5th grade. I have to be on time for classes, get my binder out of my locker, complete my homework assignments, study for my tests, practice for cross country, and all that kind of stuff. With 5th grade, I just had homework and a clean uniform in the morning to be responsible for. My point is, as you grow older – kindergarten, to elementary school, to middle school, to high school, to college and beyond – you take on a lot more responsibility. However, there are some pretty cool and meaningful ways to use your responsibilities with others. The other day for example, this girl in my home room was asking the teacher where her next class was. In the hallway I asked her what her name was, and she responded, “Emma”. I asked her if she needed help finding her next class and she nodded. I introduced myself and lead her to her class. It turned out we were in the same class together! I could have pretended to not hear her question. I could have ignored her and just walked away. But I felt responsible. I felt “the opportunity to act independently and make a decision without authorization”, which is another definition of responsibility, according to Google. That is exactly how I felt. And just that one simple task of making her day a little easier made me smile too.

On the other hand, consequences will come your way if you don’t take your responsibilities seriously. In my world, we call this “being grounded”. For example, a cell phone is a big responsibility and if I am spending too much time texting or on social media apps or constantly playing games, I will be grounded from my phone because of my irresponsible actions.

Another example of consequences from being irresponsible has to do with chores. My brothers and I share three chores – taking out the trash, doing the dishes and dog doo doo. If we choose not to be responsible for these chores, we can pretty much expect to be grounded from phone and friends. Not to mention the trust that we have to regain with our parents. Without that trust, it’s difficult to prove we are responsible and for me, I choose responsibility.

So the next time you find yourself trying to decide between your phone and your chores, remember that responsibility is your choice!

Dorie Kiesbuy is a 6th grader at Woodland Middle School in Coeur d’Alene, ID. She participates on the school’s cross country team, club volleyball,  enjoys walking  her families oversized Mastiff dog named Barley and admits she isn’t sure who is walking whom.