George Bernard Shaw's statement frequently flashes through my mind: "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." In a day of passing the buck with merely a shrug, those words bite and sting. It's one thing to sing and dance to liberty's tunes, but it's something else entirely to bear the responsibility for paying the band.
There are numerous examples of this. Being in leadership carries with it a few privileges and perks, but living with the responsibility of that task makes a reserved parking space and your own bathroom pale into insignificance. Conceiving children is a moment of sheer ecstasy, but rearing them as a loving and caring parent represents years of thankless responsibility. Enjoying a great conference is both delightful and memorable, but behind the scenes - count on it - are unseen hours of creative thinking, disciplined planning, and responsible arranging. Running an organization that gets a job done, leaving those involved feeling fulfilled and appreciated, can be exciting, fun, and stretching, but it's a nightmare unless the details of responsibility are clearly set forth and maintained.