The Age of Responsibility

We are living in a country where one crisis overlaps another without apparent or easy solutions. The major ones are

  • Hate, cruelty, and divisiveness
  • Climate Change impact and fallout
  • Government corruption
  • Disregard for the Rule of Law
  • Equality in pay, justice, voting
  • Abuse of others, the system  and commoditization
  • Ethical and moral aberrations fostered by privilege and religion.

While this list is not inclusive, it does represent a wide range of distractions initiated, perpetuated, and supported by the ruling class of oligarchs that have bought our government, created a massive wealth inequality, and gaslighted the population into submission.

In a Huffington Post article, CEOs talk about the failure of capitalism as it is practiced today “with its obsession on maximizing profits for shareholders.” They agree “the ‘trickle-down’ process of having money at the top trickle down to workers and others by improving their earnings and creditworthiness is not working.” In fact, “nearly 200 CEOs signed a letter this August declaring that companies should no longer put profit above people.”

My reaction: Talk. Talk. Talk. Where’s the action? Where’s the modeling change? What are they waiting for? Government action? The very government these CEO’s lobby and bribe to do nothing? Unimpressive revelations. These titans of industry see the problem but back away from solutions. Guess they haven’t figured out how to hold on to their vast salaries and continue investor payouts and still do the right thing.

Fires, flooding, drought, heat, earthquakes, mudslides, extreme weather events and loss of basic resources are real and happening every day. There are communities that may not have suffered yet, however changing weather patterns will take care of that over the coming months and years. Beware of state and community utilities that have not addressed safety, service, and maintenance – their failure my kill you.

Avoidance and denial with respect to physical and technological infrastructure leave communities at risk. The chaotic allocation of human effort to stave off or support each crisis listed above is meaningless. The stripping away conspicuous consumption, wealth, and privilege by natural forces beyond leaves only humans struggling together.

In the face of life and death, gender, religion, skin color, culture, and politics are replaced by a common need for survival. Shelters and streets are filled with people with no money, no place to go, nothing to do, and struggling through each day to make ends meet while they can.

Of course, the CEOs with their revelations and inactions will be fine for a while. Their workers, who don’t die, will disappear into survival mode. It’ll be hard for them to get to work with no transportation, or be able to work with no house, no food, and no electricity or cell phones. Without communications for the masses, consumerism will drop like a rock. What manufacturing there is will reduce output, and company assets will lose value. Investor payouts will dwindle and then cease.

CEOs predatory refuse to act on facts and the failing economy will find out sooner than later that DEAD PEOPLE DON’T SHOP.

Corporations have seen the future for years and not acted. Rex Tillerson, formerly of Exxon, freely admitted this under testimony. “We knew, we knew it was a real issue,” Tillerson said. “We knew it was a serious issue and we knew it was one that’s going to be with us now, forevermore…,” and “Tillerson didn’t deny Exxon’s role in creating the problem.”

What he did, as every abuser does, is blame the victims. “Exxon was providing products demanded by society… Humanity has a hard time making changes to address the impacts of climate change because of the world’s never-ending demand for economic development and improved standards of living, which is tied directly to fossil fuels.”

Where are the grown-ups? They are us.

We have no one to look to except ourselves. There is no one to save us except ourselves. We must change and support change, and it starts in our families and in our communities. As the potential for the world to crumble around becomes real, our communities are all that may be left standing. There will be no room for divisiveness or abuse. Inclusivity, respect, and equality will be the only way to survive. Me-Me-Me is a shortsighted and short-lived approach. Our-We-Us is the key to longevity.

We need to step up. Make life changes. Rethink our priorities. Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. Call out abusers and stand up for each other. Demand responsible institutional and banking investment in renewable energy. Look for truth and scientific data. Challenge the narrative. We can be the difference, as individuals and in concert with others.

Each of us must choose what kind of person we want to be. How we want our children and loved ones to see us. Who we want our children to model. We, you and I, can be that person – heroic, kind, compassionate, empathetic – who contributes to a better life and social structure. There is nothing in our way except “we’ve always done it this way.”

We can be the grown-up and the adult in the room. WE JUST HAVE TO WANT TO.


Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood


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