Sitting back, observing and complaining is not doing something.
Viruses, racial injustice, hurricanes, fires – oh my! And that’s just here in the United States. The problems worldwide are even more daunting. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by everything going on in our society. I just want to crawl into my safe space – wherever that is – and ignore everything. Unfortunately, I’ll complain about what I see like I’m watching a high school football game that my kids aren’t playing in – as a casual observer.
“But the safe thing to do is to hunker down and to protect my loved ones from the insanity I see in our world.” That is what my first instincts tell me to do at least. But sometimes we need to go with our second instinct.
If we want to be Leaders of Character, we have to do something. What is that something? It may be different for each individual. But sitting back, observing and complaining is not doing something. We define Duty as taking action based on our assigned tasks and moral obligations.
Our Duty as Leaders of Character, is to take action based on our moral obligations. There are very few people in history who alone had the power to change their society based on their individual actions. But the world needs Leaders of Character who will start doing something positive within their own spheres of influence. Each of us has the opportunity and the power to make a difference somewhere.
I admire the younger generations who have been peacefully protesting for racial justice in our country. They have seen that something needs to change and they have stepped forward to do something. They have seen it as their moral obligation to contribute their time and their voice to make change happen. What about the rest of us?
There are opportunities everywhere to exercise Duty and fulfill our moral obligations to our society.
● Mentor a high school student who needs more adult attention.
● Volunteer at a community center in a less affluent neighborhood.
● Visit the local veterans’ home and ask to hear their stories.
● Volunteer as a reading tutor at a struggling elementary school.
● Visit a church that is ethnically different from your own.
● Organize a breakfast or a lunch with people of different backgrounds.
● Take a weekend and help clean up a neighborhood or a town after a storm.
The bottom line is to do something. As individuals we may not make a huge dent in a societal problem, but it is our moral obligation to do something. By doing something, we may inspire others to follow our example. And maybe, we could see the tides shift. We could see our efforts make a difference. We could see a movement as Leaders of Character take charge of the opportunities right in front of us and change our society for the better.
Dig Deep Questions:
● What can you do for someone this week that will make a dent in a bigger problem?
● Who else can you inspire to take action on a moral obligation?
Making a shift towards taking responsibility and living with Duty is a lifelong journey. We want to partner with you as you practice the habit of Duty daily, which is why we have created our Habits of Character Action Guides.
The Duty Action Guide offers you a month of daily, interactive training complete with a daily reading, dig deep questions, weekly processing guides and instructions on how to use the guide both individually and with your team. The Duty Action Guide is now available here.
We are behind you, championing for you, your teams and your organizations as you become the leader you wish you had. We want to come alongside you as you grow to confidently answer “yes” to the question, “Would you follow you?”