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Passions in Poetry

Social Responsibility

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Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 06-05-2000 11:57 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I believe in social responsibility but I don't think you can legislate it or force it on people. You can never make it a 'duty'. By duty, I mean something that someone has to do -- that you have to care about others, that you have to worry about your neighbor next door.

I do believe that people should continue to argue that you SHOULD care about others, that you SHOULD care about your neighbor.

To paraphrase Heinlein (who was talking about conscription), if a society can't get enough people to care about others, then maybe that society isn't worth caring about.

Brad


Elizabeth
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Member Rara Avis
since 06-07-99
Posts 7296
America the beautiful


1 posted 06-06-2000 12:30 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

I think you've hit the nail on the head here, Brad. When it comes to feelings and emotions, how do you make someone feel? How do you make them care? You can't.

Today people want to do whatever they want to do, and to heck with the consequences and impacts on others. There IS a responsibility to care--but sometimes, people either do not realize they have one or choose not to realize it. They believe that they can do anything they feel like, and if there is a consequence or if someone else is affected, they think, "Hey, that's THEIR problem, not mine." We can't really force them to care. We can make them pay the consequences (in some cases at least), but we cannot make them care about others.

I guess Heinlein was correct.

Elizabeth


 And this I say to you: why? Why? Just tell me why, so I can understand. Why?


Poertree
Senior Member
since 11-05-1999
Posts 1413
UK


2 posted 06-07-2000 08:27 AM       View Profile for Poertree   Email Poertree   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poertree

"if a society can't get enough people to care about others"

hummm not sure how you "get" "society" to do anything.  What is society?  Not some entity with a mind of its own surely?  A political animal?  A place?  A group of people in a place? ...... and who is going to do the "getting" here ...... all seems rather woolly to me Brad.....

I know I've said it before but I'll just mention again that my sometime heroine Margaret Thatcher was inclined to believe that there was no such thing as "society", believing it I think to be some kind of left wing plot to level everyone and disincentivize them from doing a good honest day's work!  But she had a point a think in the sense that too close a concentration on the word and the concept does I think carry the danger that people could rely on or abuse something that doesn't really exist or at best exists fleetingly as the idealistic creation of a group of transitory politicians.  In bad times here in the UK its very common for people to blame misfortune on the lack of caring in "society" or the governments lack of attention to the ills of "society".  The expression "society owes me" also springs to mind.

Surely all that is "real" is a collection of individuals interacting with each other, often forming either formal or informal groupings it is true.  Ultimately however the quality and harmony of our lives will surely depend upon the quality of those individual interactions.  Thatcher was a passionate advocate of the family unit and its importance, and sure, she was right it is important as one forum (perhaps even the most important) for interaction, but it can never be the ONLY one.  Her vision of a market driven Britain founded on "family values" started to show weaknesses and I have little doubt that this was a least partly because for a long period of time people were encouraged to think about themselves and their immediate family unit and nothing much else.

Caring about people you come into contact with is the beginning and end of this debate in my view (impossible of course to legislate), and perhaps in circumstances where "sufficient" people care then something you might call "society" does then exist - a network of persons showing concern for and assisting each other - or something.  Ultimately the key, as I don't think Thatcher ever really grasped, is a philosophy of unselfishness and not the selfish individualistic approach that the government of her day seemed to encourage.

Philip

PS I even care about you Brad despite the fact that you never reply to my mails ... hummpphh     ........................... i know ya busy
Rosebud1229
Senior Member
since 04-05-2000
Posts 1829
North Carolina


3 posted 06-08-2000 02:08 AM       View Profile for Rosebud1229   Email Rosebud1229   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Rosebud1229

I guess no one really has social responsibility, but it's nice just to be greeted and acknowledged. I find the more I open up with people the more I find that they're are people that want to have a social gathering that want to change things that bring us down.I find that there is more to a person that what meets the eye. So as far as responsilbility no. Asfar as making something happen yes we do.There are so many things that this word still needs.Thank goodness for those people who stuck their necks out and made a difference. Truth be known I'm sure it played as big of a part as the most greatest superstar could.

 
JP
Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA


4 posted 06-08-2000 01:00 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

How do you legislate social responsibility?  Very interesting inquiry....

You don't, you can't, you shouldn't.  You can however, legislate a varitey of things that become the impetus to the population at large to see and understand thier personal duty to society.

For example, in many European countries it is required for all young adults to serve time in the armed forces when they come of age - this 'forced' service does a variety of things.  Yes it ensures a well-staffed military, but it also exposes the population to the needs of society (these countries use their military to do things for the community), it encourages a sense of duty, honor, and respect (dare I say - love) of country.  In the long term, it assists in planting the seeds of responsibilty in the individuals.

That was only one example of what can be done. In a laisse-faire society where no one is taught that they have an obligation to their community, and are shown through numerous example that there is such a thing as a 'free lunch' and that the world does indeed owe them a living, we cannot help but lose in the battle of teaching a concept of responsibility and duty.

 Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
JP

Irish Rose
Member Patricius
since 04-06-2000
Posts 10553


5 posted 06-09-2000 08:40 AM       View Profile for Irish Rose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Irish Rose

I feel people need to honor their vows, their word more, instead of needing legal, binding rules for when the human spirit and heart are ruling, you have not complete justice, for this is a flawed world, but you have more opportunity for growth.
I feel the two saddest testimonies of how far our society has sunk are the children and the elderly and they way they are sometimes treated.
We measure the gifts they give and do not take the time to look deep within, and all the rules in the world cannot make you walk across the street to help someone who stumbled and fell. You have to have it from within.

 Kathleen

"How do I love thee? Let
me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace." Elizabeth Barrett Browning

brian madden
Member Elite
since 05-06-2000
Posts 4532
ireland


6 posted 06-09-2000 04:51 PM       View Profile for brian madden   Email brian madden   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for brian madden

There is a quote from Judith Martin at the start of American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
"In civilization there have to some restraints. If we followed every impulse, we'd be killing each other".

The book American Psycho is the story of a man who has no morality and kills to satisfy his own will. What it is more disturbing is that the vanity and self absorption of the people around him allows the protagonist to kill at will and feed his hunger for murder undetected. Read the book or see the movie to see what happens when a society stops caring.  

What separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom is our awareness of morality, of right and wrong. We see life as precious. However not everyone is virtuous or in touch with morality therefore we need laws.
We live in a society that is separated we your neighbour is seen as people who are close to you not everyone, we do not live as though everyone is sisters and brothers. If that was the case there would no crime so we need laws.  We have become dependent on them to remind us of our social responsibility.


 ------------------------
"I've been too honest with myself I should have lied like everybody else"-Richey Edwards

"Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time".

Baltimore Grotto

"Libraries gave us power
Then work came and made us free
What price now for a shallow piece of dignity"
Nicky Wire, A design for Life.

manic street preachers
"Rock 'n' roll is our epiphany
Culture, alienation, boredom and despair"

"To be nobody-but-yourself-in a world which is doing its best night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."

E.E Cummings.




[This message has been edited by brian madden (edited 06-09-2000).]
 
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