Respond-ability?


“What a difference it is to move into respond-ability, a place where accountability and blame have no meaning and our ability to respond is the key.”

Meditations for women who do too much

Find Your Soul

Responsive Care-giving is the buzz…what exactly does it mean? ZeroToThree.org sums it up well: ‘Responsive care is the process of watching and tuning into your child’s cues, thinking about what they might mean, and then responding to them in a sensitive way. This is the best way to meet their physical and mental needs.

Responding & Reacting

The excerpt above helps me see how responding is the ability to become tuned into another. Response does not carry blame or ill-will. Responsiveness feels empowering to all parties involved. Reactions can snowball a situation. The opposite of respond is to react. When we react, we are basing our reaction off our own thoughts, biases and perceptions. Reactions bring up imaginary walls. These walls can be emotional based, bias based or general defensiveness. When we react, we minimize the attention from the child and put it back on ourselves… Responding, on the other hand is a verbal, empathetic validation that the other was heard, observed and supported. Let’s think of this logically.

Ability to be Aware to Practice Respond-ablity

Think of driving a car based solely on your reaction of other’s behavior. You drive based on the behavior of the driver in front of you. Thus, only having their behavior to respond to. How long could one last before a car accident? When you do not know what another person is doing, reactions can happen. Reactions come from our brain ‘not knowing’ enough information to handle the request being received. Shifting focus to being a responsive driver…you are watching the environment, drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, bus traffic. Taking in beta, you watch and observe. Your brain is receiving input, and is able to respond, based on established information retrieved from watching your surroundings. When we respond from information gathered, competency grows in our brains. When we react…it is actually cortisol, a stress hormone playing the role over problem solving thinking. This is why most people who are reactive are also riddled with anxiety.

To be responsive is to be present. Being present is being physically available and intellectually engaging. When we engage our physical and mental capacities, we become present…what results in our brains is an ability to receive and process information with limited bias. We have rewired how our brain sees information, based on being present.

I will end with this final hypothesis. When we are present to our environment, our ability to respond raises and biases lower, creating solutions over blame.

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