There are three types of dog owner

There are three types of dog owners; the pickers, the flickers and the leavers. The pickers pick up after their dog, and the leavers do nothing about what their dog left behind. But in the minority are the flickers. If you see them at all, you’ll spot them walking their dog in the woods with long twig in hand ready to flick into the under-growth what their dog deposits on the path.

Of course, we’re not really talking about dog owners, we’re talking about how we accept or not our responsibilities when in a shared space. A picker accepts the responsibility expected of them. A leaver does not. And a flicker is somewhere in the middle. They do what they think is the right thing to do by others, but with as little cost to themselves as they can.

Consider these behaviours at scale, across all the responsibilities we all have across our entire society. Sometimes our behaviours take on responsibility towards others and the cost to ourselves, sometimes we don’t take responsibility and put the cost onto others, and sometimes, in some circumstances, take some responsibility whilst minimising the cost to ourselves and others. Impossible, perhaps, to always behave in only one way, and unrealistic, perhaps, to expect others to also. So, in fact, we are all pickers, flickers and leavers. That’s just how responsibility works.