Ashoka: Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility

While watching Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility today from Netflix, these two unrelated quotes stood out to me:

Time & Imagination (13:07)

In 1997, I and my wife, Mara, Decided to take a sabbatical. A year of learning, of traveling, of doing nothing…. At the end of this year…an idea came to create in Brazil Instituto Ethos for business and social responsibility. In fact, practically all the initiatives I’ve taken that have resulted in creating new endeavors, new organizations happened at times of doing absolutely nothing. One of the great risks today, with the issue of stress, with people not having time for themselves, with their full schedules, is that they don’t leave room in their minds. They don’t leave room for their imagination, for their creativity, for anything new to happen. It is essential for anyone who really wants to undertake new things and think about the meaning of things to leave room in their time, in their schedule, so that new things can come.

Personal Responsibility (43:55)

Whenever anyone says that the problem is too big to be solved by each one of us, that he feels to small and weak to change the world, I always say, “It doesn’t matter if you will be able to do those things, if they will have any consequence on the world. It is important that you do your part.” It is important that you do everything that must be done in your beliefs, because everything you do will reflect on future generations and will reflect on your children. And it’s awful if one day your child should come to you and say, “You knew the world was in danger. You knew the environment was being destroyed. You knew about social conditions. Why didn’t you do your part?” So it is very important to build an honorable life, a dignified life, and try to do things. Because one day you will have to evaluate your life, and when you have a positive balance, there is no better gratification.

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