What percentage of your time would you say you spend volunteering? Or tangibly engaging with charitable causes? Or just, in general, doing something that contributes to the vague (yet ubiquitous and omnipresent) “greater good?” For most of us the answer to that question is something along the lines of “not nearly enough.”
When we stare that reality in the face, it can be mindboggling how quickly we can produce and articulate one well-intended justification after another:
- “I am, literally, just trying to keep my head above water right now …”
- “So many people in my immediate circle depend upon me… I simply do not have the energy or capacity to take on one more thing …”
- “I am ‘going all in’ during this time in my life so I can get to a position where I can really make a difference with people in need and causes that matter in the future …”
Even when we commit to something like “improving our Emotional Intelligence” we find most of the forks in that road are relatively confined. In general, we have the option of taking a long, deep, introspective look inside ourselves and coming to grips with what is there or developing a more profound awareness of our impact on the people we come in contact with on a regular and recurring basis.
Simply stated, social responsibility (as a dimension of Emotional Intelligence) asks us to consider our impact on people we will in all likelihood never come in contact with … because they are in need (whether we are aware of it or not). And if the past few years taught us anything, it is that there are so very many people in need (in one way or another), and it is no longer possible (or reasonable) to remain unaware.
So, what should you do and when should you do it? Good news! You can do almost anything! For better or for worse, there are so very many ways for you to provide support and tangible contribution. As for when, consider this age-old adage:
There is never a wrong time to do the right thing … or a right time to do the wrong thing!