Taking Responsibility for His Life

by Eric Chaet

I’m the forager, shopper, cook.
I did the hunting, gathering, planting, reaping.
I weighed what I needed & wanted & the prices
& what I imagined I’d be able to earn tomorrow.

I studied proteins, fats, carbohydrates.
I studied chemistry & physiology.
I’m the doctor, pharmacist, surgeon, nurse.
I build my strength & flexibility.

I make mistakes—they’re not trivial!
I race against time.
I extract myself for insane dramas, & compose myself.

I’m the strategist.
So far, I’ve survived.
I’m the leader, for better or worse, I’m sovereign.

I serve as well as I serve
those who need the service most
& those who, themselves, are most of service.

I’m the one who serves well or poorly, or fails to serve.

I’m the one who adapts & innovates advantageously.
I don’t just mess around—
at least not so much as I used to.
I’m the blind one, the stubborn one, the clumsy, clueless.
I keep foolishly waiting for results I think I’ve earned.
I’m shaking off procrastination & false expectations.

I’m the maker, the presenter, the seller.
I deliver the goods.

I walk, converse, laugh, get angry or sad.
A child delights me, a beautiful girl or woman thrills me.
Sometimes I feel I’m a great man.
Sometimes it seems to me
that I’m no more than the people around me imagine I am.
I haven’t become a rock or a corpse, yet.

I’m the one who finances the enterprise.
The returns had better exceed the costs—promptly, too.
Otherwise, I fail.

I’m the one saying this.
My motives are the motivation.
I’m always struggling to conceive & clarify my goals
& to conceive of & clarify my means, my campaign.

I’m the one who denies his mortality less every day.

I’m the one
trying to change the world forever for better
deluded or enlightened
or somewhere along the continuum between.

I’m the one living precisely here & now.
Sleep is no escape, waking is no escape.
I don’t believe the reassurances of politicians
or of ministers or priests or nationalists
or of those trying to sell me objects or services
or of those who want me to reassure them, in turn
that we’re not responsible.

I’m the quiet one absorbed in his reflections.
I’m the one trying to get everyone’s attention.

I’m the one who will make good use of, or waste their attention.
I may make matters worse by misdirecting their attention.
I’m the one trying to concentrate.
I don’t want to make matters worse—for others or for myself.

I’m the one attempting to bring into being
just & effective allocation of resources, attention, time—
starting with my own resources, attention, & time.
I have to attempt it again & again—
I have to attempt it continuously.

I know it looks like I’m just reading books, then dying.
I’m learning as fast as I can.
I mean for preparation to be the root of realization.
I don’t believe it, when someone tells me I’ve succeeded.

I don’t accept that how I am is how I will be
or that what I have done is what I will have achieved.

I wasn’t born responsible for humanity.
But I take responsibility for humanity—
& not even only humanity.

Tho I I didn’t create my initial circumstances
which were a damn shame—
I didn’t deserve the suffering I endured
& I didn’t behave so unwisely on purpose—
I’m the one taking, & who has taken responsibility
for every moment of his life—
for whatever I’ve experienced
& for whatever I’ve done, am doing, & will do
& for the consequences.


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