“A person is called selfish, not for pursuing his or her own good, but for neglecting his or her neighbor’s.” — Richard Whately.
It might seem silly to talk about “social responsibility” in an era of narcissism, blame, and irresponsibility. But the Golden Rule still matters: “Treat others how you want to be treated.”
How much do you care about the good and well-being of the community?
A socially responsible person lives their life in a way that benefits society and not in a way that’s harmful to others or the environment.
Socially responsible people acknowledge that we’re all interconnected – that no person is an island – and take responsibility for their choices and actions.
How they live their lives matters to them. We’re not talking about social activism here, but people who are wise, understanding, discerning, and compassionate.
They live their lives to make a difference; the size of their contribution is irrelevant.
Whether a person believes in climate change, carbon footprints, or other social issues that are highly politicized doesn’t matter because what we’re talking about in this article is simply being good stewards.
Here are five ways to be a more socially responsible person.
1. Be Aware & Keep Informed
It’s easy to get sucked into the tornado of our crazy busy lives and lose touch with what is happening in the world around us.
It’s hard to help make the world better if we don’t know what’s happening.
Be aware of what’s happening around the world and stay informed.
Watch for issues that speak to your heart — causes you’d like to pitch in and help with in some way. Maybe it’s human trafficking, disaster relief, mentoring young kids, etc.
Staying up with current events and issues keeps the big picture in view, allowing you to make choices that support the health and well-being of our community and environment worldwide.
2. Get Involved – Do Something
Many people talk about making a difference, but how many follow through?
The world will change for the better when we become better people.
It’s up to us to get involved and do something to make the world better, not just for ourselves but others.
Although it’s overused to the point of being a cliche, it bears mentioning: Be the change you want the world to be.
Putting yourself out there and doing something that makes a positive difference is a beautiful way to actively take part in helping our community and environment.
Have you ever thought of volunteering for a worthy cause in your community? Or participate in meetings at the local chamber to improve the quality of life in the community?
Spend time researching ways to become involved in your community to see if anything triggers your interest.
3. Be Empathetic
There are people around us who are suffering from food instability. There are communities around the world struggling with water shortages or finding fresh water for their families.
Two of the best ways to be socially responsible are showing empathy and compassion for people’s suffering and pain. It reveals that you have a heart and are not living a self-centered life. It inspires you to change any habits that might contribute to the suffering of others and build new habits to make things better.
4. Be a Wise Consumer
Some people always look for the lowest price regardless of how or where the product was made; good stewards – socially responsible people – want to know if people were exploited or abused.
Before buying its products, check out a company’s practices regarding their staff and the environment.
Consider buying sustainable products made of natural fibers that easily biodegrade and return to the ground as organic matter.
The issue with synthetic fibers is that they’re not biodegradable; they can remain in the environment for hundreds of years.
Also, buy locally as much as you can if possible because it’s a great way to support your community and boost local businesses, and it reduces resources typically used in the shipping and delivery process.
5. Make Smarter Choices
Making a wiser decision is one that builds good habits.
A wise decision can be simple, like turning off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving or choosing to reuse and recycle plastic products as much as possible to reduce the amount of waste, or using canvas bags at the market.
Even though the world is an ugly, noisy place with misguided social activism and selfish political agendas, we mustn’t allow our frustration and cynicism to make us walk away and do nothing.
Evil wins when good people do nothing.
It’s easy to get jaded; but doing “nothing” isn’t a long-term solution for the problems we and the next generation face.
Don’t be manipulated or controlled by marketers, politicians, and activists.
Help the world unlock its best life by living the kind of life that makes a difference every day.