In this book, Nathaniel Branden goes beyond his previous writing on self-esteem to offer a compelling account of the critical roles of self-responsibility, self-reliance, and personal autonomy in the development of healthy selves. Taking Responsibility, is a path to self-realization through self-reliance — and a vision of society transformed by a new ethical individualism.
Moving from the private and personal to the social and political, Branden demonstrates that only by taking responsibility for ourselves can we have any real power over our lives. Only a culture of personal accountability can sustain and preserve a civilized society. Our basic choice — to think or not to think, and to live responsibly or irresponsibly — reflects the essence of what it means to be human. Our freedom to choose is our burden, our challenge, our glory.
In “Taking Responsibility,” Branden delineates four goals: to illuminate the meaning and implications of self-responsibility as a way of living and being in the world; to show that this practice is not an onerous burden but a source of joy and personal power; to establish that we create ourselves — shape our identity — through what we are willing to take responsibility for; and to demonstrate that self-responsibility, self-reliance, and individualism are essential to the well-being of our society.
Whether our goals concern career issues or love relationships, we need to understand how intimately success and happiness are tied to self-responsibility. We need to know what is up to us and what is not up to us. We need to understand that independence begins with the act of thinking — of choosing to look at the world through our own eyes — and of consciously choosing the values that will guide us, rather than uncritically accepting them from others.
The issue of self-responsibility, Branden shows, has acquired a new urgency in the modern world, in which mind work has replaced muscle work; authoritarian hierarchical structures are giving way to more open, communicative structures; and cognitive skills are of paramount importance. Today’s world needs men and women who are able and willing to think, to be self-directing and self-managing, to respond to problems proactively rather than passively waiting for someone else to do something, to be initiators and innovators. In “Taking Responsibility,” Branden demonstrates not only the personal and social importance of self-reliance but the specific steps by which it may be achieved.Buy From Amazon.com