The modern world is drowning in a stream of arising challenges of different nature. Having not solved one problem, the global community is forced to switch to finding a solution to another, which is already knocking on the door. This is a vicious circle, salvation from which seems hardly possible. But what if the nature of the aforementioned challenges – e.g. climate change and environmental destruction, military conflicts and wars, inequality and poverty, injustice and disrespect to the rule of law, global pandemics and health care crisis – is not that different? What if one common solution can help to tackle all these problems that the world is facing?
I do believe that the majority of the problems humanity has to face are in many ways social ones and come from the global indifference and unwillingness to take responsibility. Humanity indeed needs a fundamental change, which lies in the very depths of human consciousness.
The Responsibility of Action and Inaction
Each individual must take personal responsibility not only for his or her actions, but for inaction as well. By this I mean taking personal responsibility for what is going on in the world on a global level — for the years of indifference, for the years of complaining and doing nothing. Understanding and accepting social responsibility should not be imposed, but unconditional and indisputable. It should be embedded in society and become part of a global culture. This is the basis for building a conscious and responsive global community, which in turn will become the foundation for solving problems worldwide, as well as their prevention. The world agenda should not only address current challenges, but should also focus on monitoring and prevention of new problems that may arise. In the majority of cases dealing with a problem is much more difficult than preventing it.
Examples of Responsibility, Consciousness and Awareness
Speaking of responsibility and consciousness, let’s look at the example of wars. Millions of people turn out to be puppets in the hands of cruel authorities and leaders, who use them as a tool to achieve their own, often selfish goals. Fulfilling the order, the soldiers are used to transfer responsibility for all the cruelty, all the inhuman acts and all the lives taken away on the shoulders of the ones above them. The habit of unconditional obedience and execution of orders, lack of awareness about the right not to be involved and disobey, ignorance of responsibility for one’s actions and disagreement to accept it, leads to the continuation and expansion of hostilities. It is easy to gain power by controlling the obedient, unconscious masses, but it would be difficult if every individual involved remained critical of any order he or she receives and would keep the values of humaneness, goodness and mercy. In a word, if each individual would remain human regardless of circumstances.
Another important point to mention here could be climate change and lack of environmental awareness among people. Our everyday life, with all its habits, in one way or another, affects the environment and the surroundings we live in. Every day we make a bunch of small choices that shape not only our lifes but the lives of others. And here I mean not only neighbors or community you are living in but the wildlife, animals and plants, and many other inhabitants of this planet that we should respect. Each of the aforementioned day-to-day decisions we make comes with daily responsibilities not only to ourselves but to others and to the planet as well. The most important thing is to be aware of them and take this responsibility upon yourself. And these decisions can be much easier that one may think. They can start from driving a bicycle to a local grocery store instead of driving a car, buying a reusable water bottle instead of constantly buying new plastic ones, and much more. One small step to make a difference in your life and the world.
We should admit that it’s important and necessary to teach people humanity and responsibility before giving them weapons; care about others and environmental awareness before nature is depleted and hopelessly polluted; accountability for their own actions or inactions. We should remind ourselves and others about the responsibility and the impact they can have by making small changes in their lives and attitudes.
This topic is continued in a second article, which deals with the example of Belarus. To read on, please follow this link.
An article by Viktoryia Andrukovich.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Global Solutions Initiative.
Viktoryia, is a human rights defender and civic activist, graphic artist and designer. She holds M.A. in Political Science and Sociology of Vytautas Magnus University. She is specialized in human rights and social justice, gender equality and antidiscrimination. She works at the International Committee for the Investigation of Torture in Belarus and the human rights organization “Human Constanta”. She also is an entrepreneur and promotes social entrepreneurship and social responsibility in business.