virgin islands scene

Passion costs me too much to bestow it on every trifle.
-- Thomas Adams


Sunday, March 3, 1996

Responsibility in the Age of the Individual

Yesterday we examined how information technology has given power and influence to the individual. Along with that power comes responsibility. That responsibility takes several different forms.

Responsibility to our community - Even though we have incredible power as individuals, we must not forget that we live in a community. Although we are free to live our lives as distinct individuals, our freedom and power are made possible by the efforts of the community as a whole. The farmers who express their individuality by growing the best food free us from the need to worry about growing food. Technicians who run the electrical generating plants free us from so many dreary (washing clothes by hand) and labor-intensive (gathering firewood) tasks that we couldn’t even imagine life without electricity. A healthy community enables individuals to prosper by doing what they do best, and trading the fruits of their labors for the things they need. A healthy community encourages innovation by allowing people to exchange concepts and ideas.

Responsibility to our future - The Age of The Individual cuts both ways. While it is true no one is going to tell you what to do, it is also true that no one is going to watch out for you, either. You need to take responsibility for your own future. The days of a job for life, with a gold watch and a pension at retirement time, are gone for good.

Responsibility to possibility - We must learn to explore new possibilities. The opportunities are endless when you put your creative mind to work. Our freedom to explore new possibilities depends upon our willingness to do so.

Responsibility for learning - We have unprecedented opportunities for learning. And the more we learn, the more empowered we become. In a time where information is money, a lifetime of continual learning is a necessity.

If we can learn to become responsible for our own lives, then the opportunities open to individuals are incredible.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1996 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.