“A Man’s Burden” On Taking Responsibility for Everything: Kingston’s Journal #28

What gives life meaning is moving a weight from one place to another.

I started the term with high ideals for myself, I was going to emulate the best teacher I ever knew and make all my kids better students. “Great teachers inspire” I said to myself. A number of my students have improved, more have gotten worse, and the great majority have stayed more or less the same. I feel I have failed them. I realize getting them to be better versions of themselves was not entirely under my control, but I accept full responsibility for what they failed to become, and my failure to live up to my expectations.

I realize the burden of failing so many is certainly not a happy position to put yourself in. But life isn’t based on happiness. Think of it this way, who are the happiest people in the world? Children, because they are without a worry in the world. Do you want to be the eternal child? Such a life would be emptily hedonistic. Who would you have helped in such a life? It’s about who did you help and what did you learn. A variation of that would be: to whom did I fail to help, and what would I learn from that.

Take that burden, that those responsibilities, don’t dwell on it, if you can’t control, but learn what you can from them. Take those weights and move them to a better place so that at the end of a venture and the end of life even, you will be in the hearts and minds you leave behind. Only then can you say:

“I was here.”

Kingston S. Lim

February 10, 2020

Bangkok, Thailand

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