Collective Responsibility

Blaming appears to be the oldest habit of human beings. Most of us detest taking the blame for any ill, the society faces. In general, individuals don’t believe that he or she is in any way connected to any economic or social problem. Poverty is a problem for the government to solve. Female infanticide or casteism is a problem for the government. Is the individual in no way to blamed for the ills in society? The politicians are blamed for all the ills in society. Politicians don’t come from Jupiter or Saturn. They come neither from the heavens nor from hell. Politicians are made of flesh and blood like the rest of us. Politicians come from our societies. Politicians and leaders influence the society and society produces politicians. There is a mutual relationship between society and politicians. The ills of our society are our collective responsibility.

As a people, as a nation, as a human race, we ought to take collective responsibility for our actions and take for the ills of society.

I believe that there only two classes of people in this world. The first category consists of people who believe that the world is their family and the second category consists of those who think their family is their world. The former are sensitive to the problems of their brethren and the second are plain selfish because of various reasons. The former makes the world a brighter and happier place and the latter live a pathetic life without caring about others. As Swami Vivekananda has said, “They alone live, who live for others. The others are more dead than alive.”  The former’s tribe must increase.

Politicians don’t get a fair deal from anyone. They receive criticism from all quarters for every mistake they make. I don’t deny that they ought not to be criticized for blunders but criticizing them for every small fault is inhuman. It is time we stopped complaining and take action. Those who genuinely want to help others should join politics or social service and see for themselves as to how difficult politics or social service is.

Criticizing is easy. Taking responsibility is difficult. Change has to begin by changing our attitudes for the better. A politician is not made of metal but of flesh, like the rest of us. We must appreciate politicians for the good they do and then we can exercise our right to criticize. Let us stop using politicians as our punching bags. It is time for collective action and collective responsibility.

Ask not what the nation has done for you. Ask what you have done for the nation.

Change comes from the individual. Change comes from within. Let us remember the lines from the Upanishads, which says,

“There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond the highest, the very highest of heavens. This is the light that shines in your heart.”


More by :  Dr. Padmapriya S

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