One of my key areas of interest has always been how we as individuals and groups can improve the world. To me it is all about addressing how we live our lives and the impact we have on everything and everyone around us, both locally and globally.
After all, a butterfly flapping its wings in Regents Park causes turbulence and havoc in New Orleans – now you know what really caused Katrina 🙂
The point is that everything we do matters – and makes either a positive or a negative impact on everything around us.
As we mark the anniversary of Gandhi’s death (30th January), bear in mind his oft repeated quote “Be the Change you wish to see in the world”.
From the being, comes the doing and ultimately the having. So we now have the message “Do the change you wish to see in the world”.
The time has come when we cannot just rely on others – each one of us has to our bit. Increasingly more and more companies are also waking up to their responsibilities to the environment, the larger community and the global implications of their activities.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is no longer just a buzzword and already in recent weeks we have had heartening announcements from Tesco and Marks & Spencer about their CSR policies.
It is now time for people to be more and more aware about their Personal Social Responsibility (PSR). At a recent meeting, my friend and mentor Reg Athwal talked about just this and we came up with the phrase “Personal Social Responsibility”. But searching online, it seems that though the phrase might be in use in some places, it has not really taken off yet.
But I feel that PSR is an idea whose time has come.
PSR is all about doing to others what you would like others do to you. It is about recognizing how your behaviour affects others, and holding yourself accountable for your actions. For example, contrast someone being well mannered with someone being rude.
Ideally a PSR aware person will:-
1. Always endeavour to have a positive effect on others.
2. Have a mind set to contribute.
3. Refrain from causing negativity in his environment e.g. by throwing litter on the ground, or by gossiping.
4. His social and economic activities will have a positive or neutral impact on the environment.
A socially responsible person will endeavour to have a positive effect on others and enrich his environment. He will strive to make a positive contribution, and will not pollute the atmosphere, both physically and metaphorically.
So from today onwards, start by firstly becoming aware of the concept of PSR. By coming from a place of being socially responsible for all your actions, you will immediately begin to think differently.
Then start acting from this new found awareness of PSR. For example, even by giving way to a motorist when its your right of way will help improve the world. Recall how great you feel when you have done just this, and the other driver has graciously acknowledged you.
Another idea is to write a letter to the manager of someone who has served you well. I am still feeling good after the excellent service I received last week when I called the NHS Organ Donor Service. Become someone who is gracious and generous with authentic praise and appreciation. Also look to carry out random acts of kindness.
As for doing your bit to protect the environment, check out this previous article –
“Global Warming – Time to Act”.
So you see everything you do, does make a difference.
Make your life and your actions count from today.
Come from a place of being socially responsible – you owe it to our future generations.
You are so right! So much of the time, we expect corporations to step up and show responsibility in the community. Never do we think; “wait a minute, it should start with me!”
PSR – for me it means be thoughtful and show no harm to myself, those around me and ecology. This is my social responsibility.
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Dear Arvind…LOVE & DESIRE TO HELP OTHERS is the foundation of SOCIAL WORK…May do more for others in need>>>Chandravadankaka.
PLEASE REVISIT my site & also show the contebts to your MOTHER..& your new comments appreciayed…I wish you visit my site again & again & your comments will bring back the SWEET MEMORIES of your dad & his friendship….
Thank you for this article. I was becoming despondent and depressed due to many social issues in my country, South Africa. First of all, I wrote an essay for my psychology course on “subtle/colourblind/liberal racism”, which really depressed me when I realised how this must have such a negative effect on my Black student friends and colleagues. I felt hopeless and helpless, knowing that there is nothing I can do about this that will protect anyone from being the victim of this type of racism. It is so difficult to address and change. Secondly, the day after I handed in this essay, the xenophobia attacks broke out in Johannesburg. It is awful, terrible, atrocious acts that are commited to human beings. All of this with the pain in Myanmar and China felt too much. I wondered how can I just continue with my normal life if there are so many innocent people suffering… It was good to read your article, just to realise that in my very small way, I can make a change, even if it feels hopeless and useless. I gave my daughter some extra hugs and kisses and told her a few times how much I love her. I also feel more encouraged to keep on telling people around me how important and special they are to me, to be kind to people in general… Maybe, it all does help a little.
So, thank you for your website and what you are writing. It touched me and inspired me way down here in South Africa.
You’re right. I’ve never heard of Personal Social Responsibility but of course love the concept of CSR and hope more corporations join suit. It only makes sense that us as individuals should do the same. I’d love to help spread this new buzz word. Thanks for making me think!
Janet, welcome to my blog!
I am glad you like my concept of Personal Social Responsibility. All we need now is to get more people around the world similarly interested, engaged and active in PSR activities 🙂