Shortly after this incident, pictures circulated on social media showing beaches littered with trash from weekend holidaymakers. The irony is stark and it highlights a disconnect with regard to social responsibility.
Corporations certainly need to use the safety of people, animals and the earth as a guidepost to conducting business, however, individuals also have a responsibility to protect one another and the environment. Gandhi’s words: “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” could not be more relevant.
If every individual took responsibility and ownership for their actions and lived in harmony with one another and the environment, we would not have corporations polluting the planet and endangering the lives of those who live upon it. Individuals cannot be exempt from being socially responsible while they hold corporations to a higher standard. Every single person has a role to play in protecting one another and the environment. We must not minimize the level of impact one person can have on the grand scale.
“The common man just wants to live in peace and justice in a clean environment,” Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson once said.
Harrelson advises that it is each individual’s responsibility to step into their power and make wise decisions that inform companies and governments of their desire for a safer, cleaner world. In so doing, individual consciousness merges with the collective consciousness to create positive change.
Along with their quest to gain insights into the true nature of reality, Buddhists also aim to eradicate greed, hatred and delusion. They strive to be morally upright in their activities and not act in ways that would be corrupt or bring harm to oneself or to others. Cultures all around the world have similar teachings; from them we learn that each individual has the responsibility to ethically conduct their lives; if they have challenges, the community is there to provide support.
As the environmentalist Jane Goodall once said, “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference,”.
Karen Gay, A-Roaming Bodyworker, is a holistic health practitioner practicing in Hanoi. For information on the types of services provided, visit a-roamingbodyworker.com