One of the building blocks for my ethical standards is my belief in collective responsibility- the concept that we are all responsible for creating a greater good and that our individual decisions have an impact on communities we are a part of and even those we think little about. I know that my decision making process is often built around analyzing how my decisions affect others and how I can do the most good for the most people. In my conduct hearings, I try to ask questions that get students thinking about how their actions impact others and I see this same value playing out in my work as an academic advisor because I see choosing majors and careers as an integral part of deciding which ways students will one use their talents to do the most good.
While the gravity of collective responsibility has worn me down on occasion and I have wished for a day, a week, or a month where my decisions could be made independently without the slightest impact on anyone else, I am constantly brought back to the happiness and motivation that comes with recognizing my place in the larger systems within which I operate and the peace of mind knowing that other people are out there using their talents and knowledge to do the most good as well. This is what collective responsibility is all about- recognizing and valuing each others talents, understanding our interconnectedness and working together in innovative ways that bring about positive change.
Specifically I see myself applying this value to my work in the ways I described above. I also plan to seek employment at institutions or at least within departments that promote social responsibility, not only amongst students, but within the faculty and staff. I think that offices that foster a great deal of collaboration, effective communication, and meaningful interpersonal relationships showcase the qualities needed to promote and celebrate the gains made by those who live according to the standards of collective responsibility.