(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
It s considered a mark of maturity and wisdom when you assume responsibility for your life. Responsibility means you realize it is largely up to you for how your life turns out. You are not a victim, living as a result of someone else s whims. You have a measure of freedom.
Being self-reliant is a step up from being responsible. When you are self-reliant you not only take care of what happens (being responsible) you also take care of things which might happen. You become a good planner. You build reserves. You have alternatives.
For instance, a responsible person might have a strong home insurance policy. A self-reliant person will also have financial reserves to take care of events not covered by the policy.
A self-reliant person has even more freedom than someone who is merely responsible because he or she has planned for contingencies.
Copyright 2003 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.