I’ve read quite a lot of Buddhist literature lately. Some thoughts I find interesting and some even causes AHA-moments. Others, not so much. Still others, require some time to pass, before I form an opinion or own thought about the subject.
In one book, there was this story about an old monk, doing something and others asking why not let one of the novice’s do it. He answered that if he does not do it, who will. Well, the novice, it was assumed, I guess.
Then there were some thoughts about how everyone is replaceable, but things need to be done, so you should do it.
This is a thought I find familiar. I often feel that I am useless. The few things I do, important or not, could just as well be done by someone else. Some would probably even do them better.
What I realized – to some it might be obvious, but to me it was not – was that if I and everyone else just go around thinking someone else can do this just as well, and do nothing about anything, then we end up with a whole lot of things undone! No one takes out the trash, washes the clothes, talks to a friend in need, hugs a lonely person.
Yes, someone else might be able to do all this just as well or better, but… Is it really right of anyone to assume someone else WILL do this? To assume that if I do NOT do something – like listen to the elderly woman in the bus talking about her cats – and instead assume someone else will do it – do I not put a lot of pressure on this someone? Do I not just force responsibility on others, taking none on myself?
So, the point being: yes, someone else COULD probably do what you do. Assuming they WILL DO it, is where the danger lies. Take responsibility, do not pass it forward. If something needs to be done, no matter how small – just Do It!