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Taking Responsibility, Changing the World

hopalong1.jpgI've gotten quite a few "check this out" e-mails from friends lately pointing to The Responsibility Project, an endeavor helmed by insurance company Liberty Mutual that purports to examine how people can effect change by taking more personal responsibility.

Part of me is a little bit cynical about do-gooder sites that, at their core, are really just smart marketing ploys. The tag line for the project: "Responsibility. What's your policy?" Subtle and clever, but I'm sure this whole thing is about selling insurance.

However, the fact remains that a lot of inspiration has come from the corporate world. Nike's "Just Do It" campaigns have been amazing, and their recent "Courage" ad actually had me in tears.

The Responsibility Project site, which features a variety of short films that explore how to do the right thing (one of which I've included below), argues that taking responsibility is a small act that can have large repercussions. I've always been a fan of stepping up instead of turning away -- paying it forward, creating good karma, practicing altruism, whatever you want to call it. And it's paid big dividends in my personal life.

And I'm thinking that if we all did the same thing at the workplace, with little gestures like holding the elevator or bringing someone a bagel when they're working through lunch, our collaborative energy might just skyrocket. We might feel happier and more excited and more engaged and more inspired about work. And if enough people feel happy and inspired and engaged, who knows what could happen?

Just something to think about.

(image courtesy The Responsibility Project)

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