The Tablet Jr. > Advocates for Humanity; How to Be Socially Responsible

BY RACHEL SINGH
 St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy

     Social responsibility is a word that students do not use often. Some have probably never even heard of this word. Yet, it is a big part of our lives and our duty of making the world a better place.

     Social responsibility is when one acts in a way that benefits their society and the environment. These days, this term is very popular in the business industry since investors must make investments that are not only profitable, but contributes to the society. Although social responsibility mainly refers to businesses, it also applies to schools and its students.

     Why is this important? When we use social responsibility at school, we perform actions that can benefit our school community, our surrounding environment, other students and faculty, and even ourselves. For example, planting trees, recycling programs, social action projects, and tutoring sessions are ways to help students learn about being socially responsible. There are several factors that should be considered when trying to teach students social responsibility. These factors are environmental improvement, social tolerance, community service, and student conduct. In order for students to experience social responsibility, they must be able to improve society without endangering the environment, which is known as environmental improvement. This teaches students to consider the consequences of their ideas and actions while brainstorming. Social tolerance is when you tolerate and respect peers of different backgrounds and traditions. Community service projects such as food drives and walk-a-thons help students to become aware of problems that are occurring in other people’s lives and improves their brainstorming skills. Lastly, conduct and behavior is a huge part of social responsibility. Along with following the rules, this includes taking responsibility for your own actions and its consequences. Other ways that teachers might promote social responsibility is by leading students in class discussions on important topics to improve social awareness and critical thinking. Finally, team challenges are often assigned so that students can learn to work together.

     We use social responsibility everyday at school; however, we are not aware of this. Whether it is as small as including someone in your conversation or as major as participating in school improvement projects, you are being socially responsible. We need social responsibility in our daily lives, especially students. It improves students’ behavior, encourages them to help their community and their peers, and improves critical thinking. Students that grow up with these skills will be prepared to serve their community in the future. However, remember that part of your social responsibility is to be personally responsible. You might not realize it, but your personal actions affect the future of society. While speaking with students, President Obama had emphasized, “If you quit on school — you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.” After all, students are the future. With the help of social responsibility, we should be ready for the changes in our society and environment that will occur in the near future.