Are these my hands; are those your hands?, 2020

“She would walk up and down continually with the child clutched in her arms… at the age of eight, he had no sense of bodily boundary: he would ask everyone around him, ‘Are these my hands, are those your hands?’. This quote from “What is Madness?” by Darian Leader made me consider individual and collective responsibility. The word responsibility is from the Latin “responsus” meaning to respond. The child was left in a circumstance through no fault of his own that he would have to contend with (as with climate change). Perhaps it isn’t a case of who should or shouldn’t take responsibility for situations but rather who can or cannot. In this case, the mother had a psychotic delusion and cannot be held accountable. Although identifying the cause is a key to prevention, I believe a punitive mindset is not conducive to solutions. We must seek the source without passing blame, which causes defensive behaviour. If we are able, we should take responsibility, even if we are not at fault.