Taking responsibility for your own actions
Lena Dunham, through her tragic/brilliant character Hannah Horvath, has a few truly deep and insightful things to impart from Girls. One of them is about responsibility.
You know when you’re young and you drop a glass, she says wistfully, and your dad says like ‘Get out of the way’ so you can be safe while he cleans it up? Well, now nobody really cares if I clean it up myself. Nobody really cares if I get cut with glass. If I break something, no one says ‘Let me take care of that.’ You know. (Season 2, episode 10 “Together”)
The thing about being an adult is that you have a hell of a lot of responsibility. There’s responsibility for property and employment and maybe, eventually, responsibility for a small person as well. And as an adult, very few people will order you around when it comes to making choices… just try to organise dinner with your boy or girlfriend – “what do you want for dinner?” “oh, whatever you want” -.-
So who is left to make decisions about where your money goes, what food you eat, whether you sleep or binge watch Mad Men? You. And this great power has great responsibility!
As an adult, the cold legality of the issue is that if you’re over 18, you’re fully responsible for your words and actions. So why do you take responsibility for yourself? Well simply because you should. It’s the right thing to do, and you might find that there’s a happiness and maturity that comes from noticing when you’ve made a mistake and done something about it as an adult – whether it’s dealing with a simple mistake you made, paying rent on time or not letting a friendship slip away.
As a child you might have imagined being an adult as getting to have ice cream for breakfast, money to buy whatever you wanted and travel the world, which you can do, after bills and healthy food have been sorted out. So just keep in mind that the world is a big place, people have feelings that need to be handled gently, and bills do need to be paid on time.
And you know what? If you want ice cream for breakfast, you can, because after all that responsibility, you deserve it!