This is a responsibility that we take for granted. A cardinal unwritten rule of social order, that everyone takes part for the betterment of the society as a whole. However it is far too often that individuals either feel entitled or groups feel that they are above the pecking order and so societal responsibility in general does not apply to them. Moreover entire groups come together and exercise their self declared and self appointed rights to be socially irresponsible. Ironically they are working to the betterment of their own sub group of society and not towards society as a whole. It is usually a group that “believes” that they have been repressed, treated unfairly, or down trodden and so revenge is exacted upon the oppressors but unfortunately the target is misdirected and becomes much larger and is aimed at the entire civilization regardless of the innocent. The group could be classified based on gender, race, religion, color, creed or orientation. There are always two sides to every story, and to this tossed coin of responsibility, one side naturally believes that they are right. The oppressed can be a group of white heterosexual men who feel that they are disregarded when favored by other populous. It can be a group of black women who feel that they have had their civil liberties violated for decades. It can be a group of Asian monks who may feel that they have been persecuted for their religious beliefs. What do they all have in common?
They have all pigeon boxed themselves into a category by their own volition and so when pressured by another entity, which is usually someone or a group that have also identified themselves as being different and opposite, they feel the need to fight out of a need for survival, and self preservation. In this way the responsibility to act becomes that of the self and not the society as a whole since clearly the society is factional. So the fundamental problem seems to stem from the upholding the identity of the self and down playing the identity of being part of something greater. If we are apparently more responsible towards our selves, are we truly being responsible towards ourselves by ignoring helping each other or the society as a whole? I was at a wedding reception recently where the waiters could not care less if the guests at the function were adequately taken care of. Their unwritten “responsibility” was to make sure that the guests had adequate food, meals were served hot, and requests for beverages were appropriately and timely accommodated. This was not done as they believed they were getting paid regardless. So they stood there out of indifference and ergo lack of responsibility. Simple courtesy towards them selves would have dictated that they “do their job” or social responsibility would have demanded that they act with courtesy.
Yet another example is the sub group of populations all over the world who use false excuses to misappropriate services rendered by the state. On grounds of mental or physical disability they misuse public offerings to the needy and deplete valuable and scarce resources. We can point fingers that it is corruption on all levels of either the group or the public administrators who turn the blind eye, yet, focussing blame on either side does not make the situation better nor does it accurately depict the problem. Both sides suffer from the severe lack of social responsibility due to the lack of self understanding. One might argue that they are both self aware, however that would mean they are both selfish, one side to take and the other selfish to not spend the time to say no.
Self awareness is the integral part to sow the seeds of responsibilty to grow the tree of a society, and the eventual forest of a civilization. Each person taking action to help each other, to feed each other, to nourish and protect each other, then amazingly enough the circle comes right back and helps, feeds, nourishes and protects YOU !! If each person helped the person to their right, imagine your left shoulder being tapped and a smiling face saying ” How can I be of service to you ?” This is not a misguided attempt at explaining communism nor Marxism view points. This is a direct call to action to better oneself for the betterment of one Self, through the simple embracing of social responsibility. Whether you pick up stray garbage you see on your path on the street, or help a stranger find their way on unfamiliar streets, or hold the door for the next person, or pay the toll for the person behind you at the toll booth, or simply take interest and join the legitimate workforce, just make the effort of responsibility. Love yourself, show love for your fellow beings, and embody love for your planet as a whole. There are no divisions in society, just those that you choose to create in your agitated and restless mind.
How responsible do you feel today ?