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  • Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.

Putting Social Responsibility on Your "To Do" List

Do you spread the word? Are you working to be socially responsible? Are there resources in your profession, in your community, in your world that need you to help spread the word? There are and I believe it is everyone's role to be socially responsible.

Our clinical practice recently hosted an event for Aspen Education Group. Aspen is the largest and most comprehensive network of therapeutic schools and programs for at-risk youth who would benefit from the structure of a therapeutic environment. This includes wilderness and residential programs. One of the reasons that we hosted this program was to provide other professionals working with at-risk teenagers the opportunity to learn more about the programs. There is so much negative news about wilderness programs that I wanted professionals in our community to know that Aspen sets the standard for success with this population. To me, introducing this resource to other professionals is our social responsibility to spread the word and pay it forward when we know about something good.

Social responsibility is part of Emotional Intelligence. The world will be a better place if we all practice social responsibility. We talk about the Smart Zone™ - where you work to the best of your ability emotionally, intellectually, and behaviorally. Being in the Smart Zone™ is being socially responsible. Here are 5 ways you can pay it forward and breed social responsibility in your world.

  1. Visit restaurants, shops, and vendors who are independent and not part of a chain. While my children love Chili's Restaurants and my husband enjoys a Starbucks, we seek out stores and restaurants that are locally operated in our community. We love Cristina's Mexican Restaurant and you can find us there on the patio with the Cline family many Friday nights.

  2. Buy products that are socially responsible. The Body Shop is one such company that brands itself to be socially responsible. We recently welcomed new referral sources to our practice with gifts from The Body Shop. Their branding aligns with our mission to be socially responsible. The Body Shop even has a lipstick product that is a fundraiser for family violence.

  3. Shop in your community. In our town, Plano, Texas, we "Shop Plano". When we spend money in Plano, the taxes go to Plano. While there is an Office Depot that is bigger in a neighboring community, I shop at the Office Depot in Plano to keep our tax dollars here. Do you keep your tax dollars in your community?

  4. Create a climate of social responsibility with your children. My oldest son, Alex, recently went to a birthday party for his friend Miki. Instead of gifts, Miki and her family asked guests to bring items to support CITY House, the adolescent shelter for at-risk teenagers in our community. When Alex and I looked at the suggested list of items, we had a really nice conversation about why we were buying trash bags and canned goods for the shelter and who benefits from the resources. I have to tell you too, points go to Miki and her family for providing this opportunity to further support CITY House, a resource our clinical practice works with constantly.

  5. Create the opportunity to help others be socially responsible. In your organization, have a charitable organization you support, create awareness about social causes, stand for something other than profit and excellent customer service. Many larger organizations do this already - and it often doubles as a marketing effort. Do you do it in your organization, in your department, in your community and most importantly, in your family? In our organization, some of the examples are Zan Jones' work through the Junior League of Fort Worth, Charmaine Solomon's work creating the organization My Possibilities, Patti's work with Mosaic Family Services, and my work on the board of Plano Youth Leadership. You will hear other ways that Smart Zone Solutions and Fletcher & Associates Psychological Services, P.A. creates the opportunity to be socially responsible in the coming months.

When my husband and I first had children, we chose the name Alexander because it means "helper of mankind." Don't leave it up to the Alexanders of this world to be socially responsible. I challenge you to be in your Smart Zone™ and strive to be a helper of mankind. If you have an example of the way you are socially responsible in your company, your community, and/or your family, email us and we will pass along your story.

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