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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Social Responsibility

I sometimes wonder about the responsibility I have to the society I live in. The concept of society works largely because of laws, common interests, and individuals realizing consequences of their actions. However, all societies have norms or culture which is similar to have a common language for how to live in that society i.e. the culture holds the society together more than anything else.

So, let me ask you something. Earlier this week I was standing in a line to get on the Victoria Clipper (high speed ferry from Victoria, BC, Canada to Seattle, WA). It was a long line not moving very fast. It was freezing cold and suddenly it started to hail. I requested the old woman behind me to come in front of me so that she can get under the shed because she was in open air under the hail. Then, this women goes ahead three more places and occupies a new place in the line which is four places ahead of where she is supposed to be. By now, we are indoors with the heater on so there is no element of weather involved. At that time, I thought of my role. Am I supposed to remind her to go back to her place and be a responsible citizen or let it go because it is not a big deal if an old woman jumps the line. Having understanding of marketing and public relations, I thought if I do remind her and she makes a scene I would be the "bad" buy because I was "arguing" with an old woman over "nothing". On the other hand, having understanding scale, if everyone ignores these "not big deals" then there won't be a sustainable society. What would you have done?