You Are Responsible

A book lies in front of me. It was written after years of experiences and observing, late night philosophising, out of successes that overcame me, disappointments that arose from the depths of myself that ultimately led to a feeling of incomprehension… which grew in intensity until that initial incomprehension - after as many years - evolved to a compassionate but profound introspection. It is a book that was written from a life that is passing by. It starts with the following sentence:

“I have to be honest with you. This book is unnecessary or at least it shouldn’t be.” 

It is my first book and it is published with the title “You Are Responsible.”

This first sentence refers to the certainty that we actually we already know it all, that truth lies within us. And that if we doubt this, in the past thousands of years millions of books have been written already that tried to guide the doubtful, to offer clarity, to bring wisdom of life. That is why my book is not necessary, a mass of written works exist already. The necessity however to write it and publish it, came after my fundamental insight that so many talented people lost their quality of analysis - and most of all synthesis - of their personal talents, and the possibilities flowing out of them.

The truth is being preached around us, while our own truth has lost our attention. While I am writing this, I hear on the radio that one third of the Flemish population suffers from depression or the symptoms of it. One week ago I read that a substantial amount of our youths still in school are depressed. When I talk with people within my network from the academic world, when I talk with entrepreneurs or hear politicians speaking, they all scream loudly about the necessity of entrepreneurship. We find ourselves in a Europe where budgetary constraints impose themselves on us without compassion. It is the reality of a blurry perspective where people feel tired: tired of trying to sustain the material norm they have always known by working… harder and more. They understand now that it is barely impossible to still succeed in this way of living. 

Shouting to promote entrepreneurship in this blurry, cloudy existence would go beyond the essence of man, because what man now above all needs are moments of rest where he allows himself to reflect on “who am I?” and “what do I want to undertake?” How can we even be so inhuman to expect a decisive, evolving, entrepreneurial society, when in so many domains we feel ourselves surrounded and constrained by uncertainties and fears?

I have to emphasise that in my writing there is no pointing fingers. It is a writing on the responsibility of individual existence, about the true identity that I named in my book (from my own entrepreneurial background) the “I Ltd,” and how a concrete task within society is an inherent task of this “I Ltd.” It is no egocentric writing, because You are - just as I am - responsible for everything that exists. However, grabbing this responsibility by the hands can only start when you start taking responsibility of your own existence. That is what I want to testify and offer inspiration about. My story is not one of resistance or a sour protest. The title “Indignez-vous” of Hessel seems so much richer and workable when changed into Reponsabilisez-vous.

I therefore set it as my responsibility and intention to, from now on - with this publication of my book - to do what I have been put on this earth for. After years of introspection I allow my inevitable will to speak freely and take action with all its possibilities. The book is a first step. A book that makes each individual responsible for their own choices, freedom, identity and future. A book that calls for an entrepreneurial attitude wherein people live and work from their “I Ltd.” regardless of talent, descent or intellectual capacity. A book that has an end goal: a society wherein each individual is treated with respect, and where the economical and political structures serve the individual.

Olivier Goetgeluck