Anyone who knows me has heard me wax lyrical about the beauty of words. Actually, beauty isn’t quite the right word for words. They’re versatile, emotive, tasty, fun, scary, intense, joyful and . . . I can go on and on.

But there’s one word I’m seriously not keen on, not because it doesn’t engage my mouth roundly and cause my tongue to wriggle delightfully, but because of what it does to my brain, heart and stomach.


But, if you break it apart slightly it gets less scary – the word itself doesn’t hurt so much, its connotation doesn’t make me want to run and hide. In fact, it puts the way I feel firmly in my own hands.

Try this:

Response. Ability.

Ability to respond.

Your ability to respond.

So, can you decide on your own ability? Mostly I guess ability is learned, expanded with practise. Yes, you may be born with an ability, but if you don’t work on it, it won’t reach its greatest potential.

Turn your ability into something that won’t tie you down and force you to compromise who you are. Don’t try to develop an ability that is against who you were meant to be. Don’t take the word to mean what you think it does – break it up and respond according to your base ability.

So here’s a proposal. Don’t give in to the urge to respond in the strictest sense of the whole word. Do the opposite. Don’t get caught up in the belief that being responsible is what you have to do in order to grow in your life and be more.

What you need to do in order to be you is to follow your natural ability to respond . . . or not respond.

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