You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today. –Abraham Lincoln
Dealing with Climate
One of the hot button issues of recent years has been the climate. Climate experts have continuously relayed cataclysmic consequences unless there are drastic changes in our relationship with the environment. But there is another climate that is under a similar threat; our social climate. And it is under seismic pressure due to views and thinking that have shaped how we view and treat each other.
Unless a turning point is reached, I believe that there will be a continuous descent into societal crisis at warp speed. But hope is present because life is not over yet. It is possible to turn the tide not only for us but for our children and their children. How do we ensure that we hand over a better social climate than the one we are in right now?
This month’s collection of posts will provide five superpowers, that if applied, can start to turn the tide. Each one of us playing our part can contribute to the bigger picture of a more conducive social climate. The goal of a better social climate begins with improving our individual climate first. Below is our guide:
1.Taking Responsibility (Today)
2.Practicing Calmness (Coming July 9th)
3.Deploying Compassion (Coming July 16th)
4.Expressing Courage (Coming July 23rd)
5.Pursuing Morality (Coming July 30th)
Why Responsibility Matters
In a recent sermon, Pastor Andy Stanley made a point that we should “never underestimate the power of a measured response.” Our responsibility grows out of our responses. Which, in turn, determines our reach or how far we go in life. Omitting responsibility, even when it is not our fault, forfeits the use of one of the most powerful superpowers we have in the arsenal of our lives. Passivity and responsibility do not co-exist. Responsibility matters because of the following qualities:
Qualities Born Out of Responsibility
When you think of a superpower nation, some of the associations that come to mind relate to economic, military, and technological strength. In defining a person with superpowers, one of the strengths that comprise such a person is responsibility. And it is one of the most pressing needs of our day because it is the path to building trust, a quality we desperately need.
A dodgy mentality in relation to responsibility has been proven with dire consequences. When we avoid responsibility, whether at home, work, school, and society at large, we leave those who depend on us in the lurch. But what we shirk from is eventually what we are shrunk by. Our trust shrinks piecemeal as we deflect responsibility instead of accepting it. Have you ever played the trust game? One person stands in front of another. The one in front falls backwards as the one behind catches them. At first, the fall might be with hesitation. Trust is minimal because it is in a test phase. But with repetition and successful catches by the person behind, trust becomes maximal as dependability is proven through responsibility. In short, what’s been tested can be trusted. Trust is all about becoming a safe place where someone can be vulnerable without being dropped through criticism, judgment or the threat of gossip. Are people safe with you?
Aside from building trust, taking responsibility also creates room for growth. The probability of personal growth rises exponentially once progression is made from escaping to embracing responsibility. A life comprising ease will never catalyze into growth. As a follower of Christ, I have embraced the responsibility to grow in Christ’s character and that the outcome of my growth will have a positive impact on the world around me. This growth, by way of responsibility, only occurs to the degree that I don’t just agree with what He said, but I apply it in my life. Taking responsibility will often put you out of your comfort zone. But there, you will find growth and the potential to increase your influence.
In addition to building trust and creating space for growth, taking responsibility increases our positive influence in the spheres we find ourselves. I believe that we all have influence. However, the reach or effect of that influence is proportional to our willingness to take responsibility. I have seen this often with our pastor. She has never been one to shy away from responsibility. And in turn, I have watched her influence grow throughout the church membership. Because she takes responsibility, she is able to garner support when it comes to moving the ministry forward in various capacities. She takes responsibility by being the first to commit her time, talent, and treasures, which also moves others to do the same. While her position as the pastor of Jesus Christ is the Answer Ministries grants her authority, her lead by example mentality gives her an effervescent level of influence with the congregation. It has also helped her to build trust as she has grown into an exemplary servant of God.
Final thought: There has been a significant climatic shift in terms of social life. Taking into consideration that any climate change requires responsibility, the time at hand is ripe to make changes. By taking responsibility, trust, growth, and influence are the treasures we will discover to bring light to the darkness of our times.
Keep on Keeping on!