Defining Social Responsibility Part 1
COME AT ME WORLD
Come At Me World
Cambridge Dictionary online would define social responsibility as "the practice of producing goods and services in a way that is not harmful to society or the environment".
Harvard Business Review says that social responsibility includes the act of holding businesses responsible for the social consequences of their business practices.
Wikipedia says: Social responsibility is an ethical framework which suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large.
The definition of social responsibility is evolving, and you're right in the middle of it. Or, maybe you're leaping out of the way, desperately clutching your sanity, head down and screaming "just leave me alooooonne!".
But let me tell you how and why I've decided to stand up, brush the dust off and say "Come at me world."
I have always had a heart for adventure, new experiences, different cultures, travel, excitement, the beauty of new places and new faces. *Hear the ring of the inspirational quotes from your Pinterest travel board*
The thing about travel is that wherever you go you see the same things. The food may get tastier, the weather better and the scenery more picturesque, yet no matter what, those Instagram pictures are littered with the same telltale signs of poverty, pain and problems.
All over the world, starting in our own homes, there are problems. Even if you don't see the direct results of the messed up world out there, you're told about them and heralded to do something about it. At home, on the internet, in your local grocery store, walking down the street - you're hit with cause after cause, issue after issue. I can see why you've put your head down and decided to just walk along. It gets overwhelming.
I got frustrated by the buzz of being socially responsible paired with the impossibility of figuring out how to actually be socially responsible. How can I make a dent in the problems out there? How do I actually make a difference?
This is a question that I will be addressing...probably for forever, but also over the next few blog posts. For right now, I'm going to give my most general, but probably the most fundamental answer I have: Social responsibility is a lifestyle. If you're living that lifestyle you can keep your head up and feel confident that you are doing something impactful.
My definition of social responsibility isn't a singular, unilateral approach to product searches, corporate social responsibility or your donation habits. My definition actually aligns best with the Wikipedia definition (woo Wikipedia): an entity acting in a way that benefits society. Being socially responsible is a lifestyle. If we live with the consciousness of the world around us in our everyday actions, we can feel confident that we are doing our best to help that world. I'm not talking about an abstract, voodoo connection with the universe or something. I'm talking about adjusting those basic, day-to-day actions and habits to use all the various world-helping tools that are already out there. These aren't earth-shattering changes in your life or schedule, but the little changes you make can have an earth-shattering effect on others.
Okay, so there it is. It's vague right now, but keep reading this blog and I promise there will be real, tangible, specific strategies for social responsibility. For now, I just want to encourage you: change is possible, it doesn't have to be overwhelming and it can be done everyday.
So put your head up. Say, "COME AT ME WORLD"