Originally Posted by Alecto
I had a teacher in high school who would give a whole lecture every year about "the bars of the cage".
The general gist is that 90% of the people in this world do not see the bars of their cage. They do not want to be freed etc. You 10% out there DO, and more's the pity because there's a happiness-in-ignorance that will forever be denied to you because of it. And now, for the really screwed up part: YOU are responsible for the other 90%.
The phrasing and analogy is a bit clumsy with just what we're talking about with responsibility, but the truth is there's LOTS of different bars in society, and I can only see some of 'em, and I'm never going to get all the way through even one but I can pick one as my time and energy allows and file away best I can.
To answer the questions directly: Yes, I think once you see suffering or injustice, you have some responsibility to do something about it. It's just not even a choice to me: you can't unsee the bars of the cage, and I know I couldn't live with myself just pacing about inside the cage: I don't think one person can save the world, but perhaps he or she can save another person. Or a group of people. What fulfillment of that responsibility looks like is going to be different for everyone, and I think that's kind of the point because there's SO many different kinds of problems.
After reading this, the following quote came to mind..
"A time comes when silence is betrayal." -Martin Luther King Jr.
Ignoring what is right in front of you, does not make it go away. So, by seeing those bars you are becoming aware on how you influence those around you.
I could say that by seeing those bars, or by seeing how I influence those around me, I will be able to see to get out of the cage.
Eh, I'm not getting very far with that concept, I tried though. Sorry.
I like what you're saying Alecto, I just don't think I fully understand.