Responsibility without power It’s a slavery that can do harm. February 22, 2016 News I had just finished leading a retreat. People were preparing to go home. Sarah, who had been one of those attending, spoke to me before she left. ‘If I came to see you, would you be able to help me?’ she asked. ‘I can never promise that,’ I said. ‘The work is yours and not mine. But I’d do my best to be helpful – I can promise you that.’ In a world that is a slave to ‘outcomes’, it’s important for my own sanity to remember what I can, and cannot, promise. What I can, and cannot, take responsibility for. I have skills to offer; and a commitment to Sarah’s health. But in the end, Sarah is responsible for her own wellbeing. I can only promise to do my best. And so I let go of outcomes, I won’t be its slave. There is no peace – and much self-punishment – in responsibility without power.