The roots of violence: Rights without responsibilities.

I listened to Warren Rustand speak on Leadership to the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia last week.  Warren is a man who has fit the experiences of several lifetimes into his own – he has been in public service, in academia, involved in not-for-profits and has been chairman or CEO of 17 organisations.

He spoke of the seven blunders of the world, a handwritten note by Gandhi that he gave to his grandson Arun on their final day together, not too long before his assassination. These seven blunders are the roots of violence.

  • Wealth without work
  • Pleasure without conscience
  • Knowledge without character
  • Commerce without morality
  • Science without humanity
  • Worship without sacrifice
  • Politics without principle

     An eighth was added by Ghandhi’s grandson:

    • Rights without Responsiblities.

    Number eight underlies the rest of Gandhi’s “blunders”. 

    The message from Warren’s session on leadership was that life comes with responsibilities.  If I see the future clearer than those around me, then I have a responsibility.  If I feel more confident about the situation, then I have a responsibility.  If I know more than those around me, then I have a responsibility.  If I have a comfortable life, a roof over my head and food on my table, then I also have responsibilities. 

    Scary. I can’t choose to opt out.

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