This weekend we had the retreat of the Posse Scholars and their guests. The theme was "social responsibility." The group was a wonderful collection of energetic young people who want to do good. The general thrust of our discussions was to find practical ways to be socially responsible right now.
As I was reflecting on this conversation, I was struck by an idea that I had not fully articulated before: social responsibility is carried out by collective actors. Individuals change the world by creating collective actors and working together. Students offered several examples of individuals who have made a difference in the world. In each case, though, a few moments' reflection made clear that they did not act alone.
Wanting to change the world yourself is a good start. But actually doing it requires that you also develop the skill of working with others. Collective actors can be responsible for re-ordering the world responsibly.