Socially Responsible Groups at Work
I have always considered myself socially responsible as well as individually responsible, but I hold views regarding responsibility that many might disagree with. While I focus on identifying groups that I feel exemplify the concept of social responsibility, I will also identify traits of each group that allow these groups to align with my view of social responsibility.
On the global stage, many people feel that it is the responsibility of our government to represent us in matters of philanthropy (citation needed). I disagree. I feel that it is our personal responsibility as individuals to take on charitable roles. There are organizations that provide direction and goals of charitable contributions, which allows simplification in giving. One of these groups, and the first group I wish to discuss, is the American National Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org). As stated in their corporate documents:
The purposes of the corporation are … to provide volunteer aid in time of war to the sick and wounded … to act in matters of voluntary relief … as a medium of communication between the people of the United States and the armed forces … and in mitigating the suffering caused by [peacetime disaster], and to devise and carry out measures for preventing those calamities. (Congressional Charter of The American National Red Cross, 2007, p. 2)
The American National Red Cross provides means for individuals to be charitable whether in service (as an employee) or financially (as a donation contributor). The Red Cross has created such an infrastructure to support their operations that no individual could ever outperform them logistically.
Focusing on the service aspect of giving, the second group I will discuss is Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF; http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org). Created in 1971 by doctors and journalists in France, MSF has provided a high level of allopathic and osteopathic care to destitute, war-torn, and disaster regions of the world. MSF was the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 for their work in almost 60 countries around the world. By providing a high level of medical care to areas of the world that have little to no availability of medicine, MSF works extrinsically to improve the health of the people. I feel that a more intrinsic approach would work better to reduce health disparities in these areas. For example, if MSF added an educational aspect of the aid that they deliver, they would allow the people to develop a more comprehensive medical education system and eventually care for themselves. Enterprising individuals within each society, however, could do this more effectively themselves as many other civilizations have done in the past.
Finally, I will present the group that I feel empowers my society the most by advocating freedom and Constitutional values: the Cato Institute (http://www.cato.org).
The mission of the Cato Institute is to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace. The Institute will use the most effective means to originate, advocate, promote, and disseminate applicable policy proposals that create free, open, and civil societies in the United States and throughout the world. (About Cato, n.d., para. 1)
The Cato Institute is heavily engaged in preserving the American way of life and disavows any policy that is detrimental to the United States. Further, the Cato Institute presents libertarian ideas throughout the world, promoting peace, liberty, and a free society. Though some influential individuals might be able to promote the same ideas, the Cato Institute is able to rely on the expertise of a number of people in order to provide the most pointed policy reviews and recommendations.
Some of these groups serve ideologies that are at odds with my beliefs, but the work that they do is generous and honest. My only caution to these groups is that while they are providing services to people who, for whatever reason, cannot do for themselves, they should also concentrate on providing education and training so that the people may be able to serve themselves appropriately in the future. Self-reliance is lacking commodity around the globe.
About Cato. (n.d.). Cato Institute. Retrieved from http://www.cato.org/about-mission.html
Congressional Charter of The American National Red Cross. 36 U.S.C. §§300101-300113 recodified 2007. (2007, May).