Reflections on Responsibilities

Exploring the nature of responsibility within a civil society necessitates asking questions. Is it one's civil responsibility to act in a civic manner? Is it one's civic responsibility to act in a civil manner? Is there a responsibility to be informed, to dissent, to obey, to question or challenge, to investigate, to express opinion, to support, to run for office? What are the responsibilities of citizens ? It is important to know that this process is one of reflection in which the answers to questions often do not come in perfect little black and white packages As Dr. Mark Kingwell writes in The World We Want that "reflection is searching and powerful in its effects."

There are many places from where reflection on responsibilities can begin. It is essential to examine the historical

perspective and to understand that many civilizations have contributed greatly to the development of democratic principles and that individuals have given their lives in support of this impassioned objective
(see Historical Perspectives Springboard).

One can also examine laws, standards, regulations, policies, declarations and prescriptions for responsibility as well as works on responsibility from educators, artists, philosophers, historians, thinkers and importantly, "doers" who attempt to make sense of ourselves and our place in the world. Importantly, one must reflect upon one's own life and the contribution that responsibilities play or can play. Throughout this reflective process, it will become possible to begin to taste the many flavours of responsibility.


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Last Updated: 29-Mar-2004