I read with interest the blog from Mark Posson on August 8, 2011 entitled “Community Engagement is the Key to Climate Action.” My immediate thought was that perhaps he was right. After all, didn’t we all agree that it takes a village to raise a child? The more I thought about it, though, I was drawn to the fact that perhaps by community he must have meant individuals and not organizations.
Isn’t it really the choices that individuals make that will impact any changes that we wish to bring about?
It is individual behavior changes that will result in progress really being made. Not government, not corporations, and not organizations, but in reality the individuals who make up all these entities. While you can try and make an individual’s choice easy, financially attractive and provide some type of immediate gratification, when you get below the surface the reasons an individual makes a choice is because they really believe it is the right thing to do. The personal satisfaction of “doing the right thing” is the gratification people get. This premise is what we have always been told. When you face a question the best course of action is to do the right thing.
Now, I am not saying that the decision of what is the right thing to do will always be easy. In fact some of our greatest internal issues have dealt with what is right. Just Google the term, “doing what is right”, and you will find more than 10,200,000 entries, ranging from moralists and philosophers all expounding about how they approach the question. It is interesting to note that there is even an online course at Harvard, taught by Michael Sandel, where one of his critical sessions is entitled “What’s the right thing to do?”
To get the major changes we desire then we must look to the individual to make the right choices and these choices should be based on what they perceive as their person responsibility. What is your personal responsibility?