For the Galt community, responsibility has been the character trait of focus for September and October each year since 2006, when Galt citizens selected six core values as necessary character traits to strengthen our families and build a better community.

The Galt Community of Character Coalition (GCCC) 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 community transformation. Responsibility requires us to take care of our duties and hold ourselves accountable for our actions. Responsibility is being dependable when you have things to do. Responsibility is trustworthiness.

There are at least four kinds of responsibilities: legal responsibility, family responsibility, personal responsibility and moral responsibility.

When thinking about legal responsibility, journalist Gerald Johnson had it right: “No man was ever endowed with a right without being at the same time saddled with a responsibility.”

Legal responsibility requires that we uphold the laws and ordinances of our community, state and country.

With personal responsibility, we each decide to accept our own role in being a person of good character. As Philosopher Jim Rohn writes, “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”

We have responsibility to our family, including treating our family members with love and respect and doing everything we can to take care of them and to teach them to be responsible members of society.

The American psychologist Albert Ellis summed it up well: “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own.  You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”

Moral responsibility involves 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 a 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 moral and community responsibility, the GCCC could use your help with planning a community-wide celebration of Earth Day 2020 to take place April 18, 2020.  You can get involved by attending a Galt Earth Day planning meeting. We are looking for ideas for presenters and activities to learn about enjoying and preserving our outdoor environment. Our next meeting will be Thursday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. at the Galt Parks and Recreation building. For more information, please contact Barbara Payne at barbarapayne@softcom.net.

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 2019. Please use the attached form, or email your nomination with details to Barbara Payne, president of the Galt Community of Character Coalition: barbarapayne@softcom.net. Be sure to include the following information: name, address and phone number of your nominee; write a brief explanation of how this person or group demonstrates responsibility – give examples; and your name, address, phone number and email.

Deadline for the nomination is Oct. 31, 2019.