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For the past 15 years, responsibility has been the character trait of focus for September and October in Galt. In 2007, the Galt community answered a communitywide survey and selected six core values as necessary character traits to build a better community and strengthen our families. The Galt Community of Character Coalition has spread the word since then, supporting community efforts to build character and tell the stories of role models of good character in our own community.

Because responsibility is a core value of living honorably, it is crucial for personal development and for establishing positive community norms. A community adherence to responsibility enables us to strive for trustworthy and friendly neighborhoods, schools, city services, businesses and organizations. Personal responsibility requires that we all take care of our duties and hold ourselves accountable for our actions. When we each hold ourselves accountable for our decisions and actions, we actually command more power in our lives. Holding ourselves accountable leaves little room for finger pointing and blaming others. There is no whining in responsibility.

We also demonstrate responsibility when we are dependable and trustworthy. Through changing times and difficult challenges, carrying on with responsible conduct provides a powerful structure to our lives that helps us persevere and remain optimistic for better times ahead.

Writer Dmitry Golubnichy of Ukraine had immigrated to Switzerland but found himself to be quite unhappy despite the prosperous and comfortable living conditions in his new country. When he returned to Ukraine at the age of 27, he found the majority of his old friends living very ordinary, even boring lives. But rather than complaining bitterly about their situations, they were instead very happy.  While Golubnichy could only find things to complain about, his Ukraine friends reported great happiness and satisfaction. As a result, Golubnichy explored the cause of his unhappiness and determined that he was wasting his life by not taking personal responsibility for his own actions and use of time. Instead of prioritizing happiness and finding ways to make it happen each day, he was complaining and blaming others. By taking personal responsibility, Golubnichy embraced the realization that we all have the power and responsibility to shape the life we desire. Golubnichy went on to start the #100happydays movement that had reached more than 8 million people worldwide by 2013.

In addition to personal responsibility, moral responsibility requires that we take responsibility for how we treat other people, animals and our planet. This means caring, defending, helping, building, protecting, preserving and sustaining.  As part of living in a community, we all have an additional shared responsibility to stay informed and participate in community activities and decisions. When you go the extra mile to participate in community activities, there are benefits for both you and your community. Picking up trash to keep the community clean, participating in fundraising events, staying informed, and voting in elections are other ways to keep your commitment to community responsibility.

To live a life of good character, we are all responsible for treating other people fairly and for taking care of the environment. If you are interested in pursuing the call for personal and community responsibility, the Galt Community of Character Coalition could use your help.

Nominate a role model of responsibility: Perhaps you know someone in the community who is a great model of responsibility. The Galt Community of Character Coalition is looking for individuals, groups or organizations that are deserving of recognition for the great examples they set in their daily lives. Please take the time to nominate an individual or group that is deserving of the Galt Character Award for Responsibility for 2022.  Please email your nomination with details to Mari Martinez, Nominating Committee of the Galt Community of Character Coalition: Be sure to include the following information:

A. Name, address and phone number of your nominee.

B. Write a brief explanation of how this person or group demonstrates responsibility. Give examples.

C.  Also, give us your name, address, phone number and email.

D.  Deadline for the nomination is Oct. 31, 2022.

Come join the Galt Community of Character Coalition. Next meeting: Thursday, Oct. 13 at L’Chayim, 400 Fourth Street, to the right of Velvet Grill & Creamery. All are welcome.