PI concept creator Victor Sinclair looks both forward and backward at the Posivalue #20 of responsibility and its critical variable relationship with education and the awareness that changes perspective and lives. It’s also a driving factor of the 232 Billion Dollar LOHAS community.
Have you ever asked yourself, what am I responsible for? To really sit down and think about the topic of responsibility. With a quick cursor its an easy topic to cover… I’m responsible to put food on the table, to pay my bills, to get my assignment completed and handed in, to not drink and drive etc., but have you ever taken that word and started to apply it to all aspects of your life, those places you take for granted and all those ones you never had. Increasing your range of responsibility will change your life.
You could look at the word academically and start with the Latin prefex re: or the Latin root word Spondere, meaning a promise, give pledge, undertaking, derived from the Proto-Indo-European root Spend and the suffix ibility-ability. I’ve seen a number of listings for ibility I like, ~ meaning getting to the core, or ~ indicating quality, property, state, or way of being. Social, from the latin adjective socialis: and ability from the latin word habilitus ~ aptitude, handiness; ability; aptitude and the latin word habilus meaning able; easy to hold, apt; handy, manageable.
Okay. so enough with the etymology of words.
My original approach for writing this blog entry was simply this.
Responsibility really entails two words Response and Ability and then by reversing the words looking at
The “ability to respond”
So I must admit I was pleasantly surprised when I started to do my research that the origins or etymology of the words really supported the approach to the word that I was taking namely that the word Responsibility takes in many ideas from quality and way of being to aptitude, able and manageable. So here we go.
Responsibility The Culturally Biased View
Much of the Responsibility we take on in society stems from a cultural approach. As cultural perspective comes into play so do the responsibilities that we take on. In the most of the world, Responsibility for certain aspects of parenting IE: to feed, nourish and protect your children is a given. The role and thus responsibility of the father and mother change dramatically given the part of the world or specific religion of influence, the most dramatic different naturally being in the role of the mother as “nest keeper” in certain places and as “provider” in others.
Ability to Respond
It’s only natural to think its not the responsibility of the poor to look after the rich, but is that perhaps a simplistic view? When it comes to monetarily speaking ie: food and shelter that issue is simple to resolve. But how about the responsibility to educate, enlighten, inspire, lead, care, love etc. ? Do we assume these roles because of our status in life and also abdicate them for the same reason? Do we limit ourselves by our perceived status in the world by our own “labels”? Can a poor person really care for a rich person? Give it some thought. It’s happened a million times. Have poor (financially speaking) people donated blood because they take on the ownership of understanding we are all our brothers keeper and if I am healthy I have the responsibility to share my wealth of health. Might that blood, bone marrow or donation of time as a volunteer find its way to a millionaire suffering from leukemia in a hospital bed? It’s happened a thousand times over. Do you limit your participation in being part of the change by a self imposed limitation mired in the excuse of your stature, resources, education or other FEAR ~ False Evidence Appearing Real?
Part of our ability to respond and be responsible is both being educated in the value of social responsibility that every human being has the responsibility to contribute positively to the world where they are able to. The Positive Imperative mission is to emphasize More Of This Education of Universal/Positive Responsibility and Less of That, Neutral ~ Apathy and Negative ~ Ignorance of Responsibility.
Responsibility in ACTION!
This academic conversation is a good starting point as its purpose is to shift your paradigm in to a new consciousness of responsibility and becoming the part of the solution. But good intentions with no action is somewhat meaningless.
Recently we have had two fires in our neighbourhood. Last summer two houses down the street went a blaze. I’m very proud to say that my daughter Dawn was the first to notice and not only assumed the responsibility to call 911, but took that bold leap of actually running though both houses to warn the occupants and in one case actually arguing with the home owner that their house was on fire and to get out. Most of us might have taken the first action and only some of us might have taken the second. My other Daughter Lesley took the time to share slippers and watermelon and water with the grief stricken occupants later that morning.
A couple of nights ago another house in our neighourhood was ravaged by flames. I found myself driving past it not once but twice for that old familiar voyeurism that hits us all. (It is on a dead end that I would not normally drive down). I now find myself in a clearer moment thinking, well Victor, that wasn’t a positive action, it was the stereotypical Neutral which is a negative…… stopping and staring. You see, I believe it’s our responsibility to respond to a community disaster and so far there has been a disconnect between by belief and my actions which until this morning are not congruent. When done this blog, I will be traveling down the street to find our where donations can be made and remove myself from the neutral response.
Call To Action…What is your Range Of Responsibility?
There is a whole educational movement now and the election of Obama as US president I’m certain is partly due to the 19% or 41 Million US citizens that fall into the Lohas demographic. LOHAS is an acronym for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, a market segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living, and social justice. Now a 209 Billion Dollar market which spans three generations.
We started off by looking at the root words of responsibility, the first part of the word pledge, undertaking, and the second aptitude and ability…… which also really means your educated perspective and your ability to cope, respond and nudge your bar higher…… answer the PIQ.
So the PIQ Positive Imperative Question(s) are
1. Ask yourself if there are areas you have unwittingly limited your responsibility to respond?
2. If you haven’t been educated to a new paradigm of social responsibility before and you now have a new outlook, answer the three PI questions of accountability.
1. What did you know?
2. When did you know?
3. What are you going to do about it?
Please take the time to continue the conversation and share with us your perspecitve.
Thanks for joining us.
Victor Sinclair. Author of the forthcoming books; the Positive Imperative and the Positive Music Imperative, has a wide background in teaching, broadcasting, the music industry and business and most recently served as a founder and Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada (AmCham Canada). He has also dedicated more than 30 years of his life to volunteerism and not for profits including Big Brothers, Memorial Boys and Girls Clubs, Minor Leagues Sports and as a President and board member of several not-for-profit boards. Interests include family, biking, tennis, reading, music and PI/PMI of course.